Publication: QED Response of the Vacuum
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We present a new perspective on the link between quantum electrodynamics (QED) and Maxwell’s equations. We demonstrate that the interpretation of the electric displacement vector D=ε0E , where E is the electric field vector and ε0 is the permittivity of the vacuum, as vacuum polarization is consistent with QED. A free electromagnetic field polarizes the vacuum, but the polarization and magnetization currents cancel giving zero source current. The speed of light is a universal constant, while the fine structure constant, which couples the electromagnetic field to matter runs, as it should.