# If electromagnetic fields give charge to particles, do photons carry charge?

As I understand these two statements:

1. An electromagnetic field gives particles charge
2. A photon is a quantum of electromagnetic field

It must mean that a photon carries charge. But I guess it isn't true. Why not?

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Your assumption 1) is backwards. It is the charge that creates the electric field around it. Charge is an intrinsic property of matter, like mass it can be defined in certain units; correspondingly units are derived for the fields created around a charge which depend on the definition of charge units. –  anna v Jul 7 '12 at 4:00
No the photon doesn't carry charge. It doesn't emit an electromagnetic field. Why would you find this surprising? The qualitative statements you give do not imply the statement you say they imply. –  Ron Maimon Jul 7 '12 at 6:03

Remember, electromagnetic field is a distribution of electromagnetic force, not charge. Photon bosons are quantum of this field. So, they are force carriers.. not charge carriers. Only force is exchanged with these messenger particles. Based on this interaction, we determine charge of electrons etc involved. That's it!

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