Quantum field theory
For example, quantum electrodynamics (QED) has one electron field and one photon field; quantum chromodynamics (QCD) has one field for each type of quark; and, in condensed matter, there is an atomic displacement field that gives rise to phonon particles. Edward Witten describes QFT as "by far" the most difficult theory in modern physics. In QFT, quantum mechanical interactions between particles are described by interaction terms between the corresponding underlying fields. QFT interaction terms are similar in spirit to those between charges with electric and magnetic fields in Maxwell's equations. However, unlike the classical fields of Maxwell's theory, fields in QFT generally exist in quantum superpositions of states and are subject to the laws of quantum mechanics. Because the fields are continuous quantities over space, there exist excited states with arbitrarily large numbers of particles in them, providing QFT systems with an effectively infinite number of degrees of freedom.