Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Layman here. EE and BS physics. I am "content" in viewing photons/electromagnetic radiation as an "emergent" property of spacetime? due to the electrons ("particles..?") and all their activity jumping around in atoms. [or is this likely too simple?] ... in the "same" manner that sound and water waves are an "emergent" property of air and water particles. OK. So WHAT do neutrinos represent? Can I visualize them as an emergent property of neutrons and protons [and quarks?] and all their activity in the nucleus? Neutrinos are a real mystery to me, as if everything else weren't!

share|improve this question
1  
"I am "content" in viewing photons/electromagnetic radiation as an "emergent" property of space/time? due to the electrons ("particles..?") and all their activity jumping around in atoms." This sounds like you've got hold of a somewhat garbled pop-sci description of the second quantization. But even when you fix that you should be equating neutrinos with the electrons not the photons. –  dmckee Apr 17 '12 at 19:26
add comment

1 Answer

Your second sentence is not correct in our current understanding of physics. Photons are not an "emergent property of space-time" - photons appear even when we take space-time to be a fixed object. Photons are "not due to electrons... jumping around" - they can be created by the motion of charges but they are independent objects. Photons are just as real as electrons and just as fundamental. They do not have any relationship like that of water waves and water molecules.

With that understood, neutrinos are also understood to be independent fundamental particles. If you wish to conceptualize neutrinos, just think of them as almost massless electrons with no electric charge.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.