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Advances in High Energy Physics
Volume 2017, Article ID 7232798, 4 pages
Research Article

On the Emergence of the Coulomb Forces in Quantum Electrodynamics

Physics Department, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Antwerpen, Belgium

Correspondence should be addressed to Jan Naudts; eb.neprewtnau@stduan.naj

Received 6 April 2017; Accepted 16 May 2017; Published 6 June 2017

Academic Editor: Thierry Grandou

Copyright © 2017 Jan Naudts. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The publication of this article was funded by SCOAP3.


A simple transformation of field variables eliminates Coulomb forces from the theory of quantum electrodynamics. This suggests that Coulomb forces may be an emergent phenomenon rather than being fundamental. This possibility is investigated in the context of reducible quantum electrodynamics. It is shown that states exist which bind free photon and free electron fields. The binding energy peaks in the long-wavelength limit. This makes it plausible that Coulomb forces result from the interaction of the electron/positron field with long-wavelength transversely polarized photons.