Feynmann diagrams

In theoretical physics, Feynman diagrams are pictorial representations of the mathematical expressions describing the behavior of subatomic particles. 

The scheme is named after its inventor, American physicist Richard Feynman, and was first introduced in 1948. The interaction of sub-atomic particles can be complex and difficult to understand intuitively.


In this Feynman diagram, an electron and a positron annihilate, producing a photon (represented by the blue sine wave) that becomes a quark–antiquark pair, after which the antiquark radiates a gluon (represented by the green helix). image: wikipedia


Feynman diagrams give a simple visualization of what would otherwise be an arcane and abstract formula. As David Kaiser writes, "since the middle of the 20th century, theoretical physicists have increasingly turned to this tool to help them undertake critical calculations", and so "Feynman diagrams have revolutionized nearly every aspect of theoretical physics”. 

 While the diagrams are applied primarily to quantum field theory, they can also be used in other fields, such as solid-state theory.

Feynman used Ernst Stueckelberg's interpretation of the positron as if it were an electron moving backward in time.  Thus, antiparticles are represented as moving backward along the time axis in Feynman diagrams.

The calculation of probability amplitudes in theoretical particle physics requires the use of rather large and complicated integrals over a large number of variables. These integrals do, however, have a regular structure, and may be represented graphically as Feynman diagrams.

source adapted from: Wikipedia contributors. (2017, December 24). Feynman diagram. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 08:11, February 27, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php title=Feynman_diagram&oldid=816835786