In this paper we discuss the electromagnetic field, as perturbed by a prescribed current. All quantities of physical interest in various situations, eigenvalues, eigenfunctions, and transition probabilities, are derived from a general transformation function which is expressed in a non-Hermitian representation. The problems treated are: the determination of the energy-momentum eigenvalues and eigenfunctions for the isolated electromagnetic field, and the energy eigenvalues and eigenfunctions for the field perturbed by a time-independent current; the evaluation of transition probabilities and photon number expectation values for a time-dependent current that departs from zero only within a finite time interval, and for a time-dependent current that assumes non-vanishing time-independent values initially and finally. The results are applied in a discussion of the infrared catastrophe and of the adiabatic theorem. It is shown how the latter can be exploited to give a uniform formulation for all problems requiring the evaluation of transition probabilities or eigenvalue displacements.
- Received 31 March 1953
- Published in the issue dated August 1953
© 1953 The American Physical Society