4
votes
2answers
361 views

Virtual particles and physical laws

Recently, I was reading about Hawking Radiation in A Brief History of Time. It says that at no point can all the fields be zero and so there's nothing like empty space(quantum fluctuation etc.). Now, ...
1
vote
3answers
135 views

Can virtual particles, in particular gravitons, interfere?

Question 1. Can virtual particles, in particular gravitons, interfere? Virtual particles are created and annihilated in a distance too small and a time too short to be measured. Their existence is ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

If a photon's emission is detected is it real or virtual?

I understand that one can measure a single photon being absorbed using a photomultiplier tube or CCD. Can one measure a single photon being emitted by monitoring the current through an LED or the ...
0
votes
2answers
126 views

Electron recoil after emitting virtual photon

Assume that a stationary electron $A$ emits a virtual photon with $4$-momentum $k$ and a stationary electron $B$ absorbs it. Let us assume a description in which time is moving forwards. At the ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Born rule and Feynman propagators

Let us assume that we want to describe the full process of photon emission by electron A and absorption by electron B. Therefore electron B must be on the forward lightcone of electron A. In the ...
4
votes
3answers
220 views

Virtual Higgs boson?

Can particles emit a virtual Higgs boson in a similar manner to the way a virtual photon is emitted?
1
vote
1answer
95 views

What does “Information” and Virtual Particles mean?

I've read that attraction and repulsion between particles is caused by the exchange of virtual photons, and that virtual photons carry information. I don't understand how a virtual photon actually ...
-6
votes
3answers
304 views

Understanding forces in QFT [closed]

I recently came to know that any type of force is exerted by a particle on another with the help of gauge bosons/virtual particles which are in reality a mathematical aide and do not have actual ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

Virtual particles and S-matrix

One of methods of introducing of virtual particles is using perturbation theory. We say that scattering matrice amplitude $M_{in \to out}$ contains of $\delta(P_{out} - P_{in})$, which realizes ...
4
votes
2answers
320 views

Some questions about virtual particles

When reading about quantum mechanics, I've stumbled upon a description of the force between two electrons as a result of virtual particles being "exchanged" by the two electrons. So far I've ...
2
votes
1answer
574 views

Virtual photons, what makes them virtual?

The wikipedia page "Force Carrier" says: The electromagnetic force can be described by the exchange of virtual photons. The virtual photon thing baffles me a little. I get that virtual particles ...
1
vote
1answer
157 views

Conservation of Energy and Quantum Fluctuations

Regarding conservation of mass-energy Wikipedia says: "this is an exact law, or more precisely, has never been shown to be violated." However, regarding quantum fluctuations, Wikipedia says here: ...
4
votes
1answer
211 views

Quantum field theory quote

I have read this in scientific American: According to quantum field theory, all particles spend a little time as combinations of all other particles" Is this right? How long? And how can they be a ...
3
votes
2answers
373 views

Photon as the carrier of the electromagnetic force

My physics background goes as "far" as reading popsci books on QM, Particle Physics, and Cosmology so pardon my ignorance in the below questions. I've read that the photon is the particle (quanta in ...
1
vote
1answer
696 views

Is it possible that the Big Bang was caused by virtual particle creation?

As far as I understand, it is understood that throughout the universe there exists, what is known as, a quantum field from which, due to its fluctuations, temporary (pairs of) virtual particles ...
1
vote
1answer
215 views

Speed of light and virtual particles

After becoming extremely bored while studying for an Afrikaans exam, I started thinking about virtual particles. So, can light (photons) interact with virtual particles (even though they only exist ...
7
votes
3answers
557 views

What makes a Feynman diagram real or virtual?

Simple question: as the title says, what makes a real Feynman diagram real, and what makes a virtual diagram virtual? Or in other words, how do I tell whether any given diagram is real or virtual? ...
6
votes
3answers
590 views

What really goes on in a vacuum?

I've been told that a vacuum isn't actually empty space, rather that it consists of antiparticle pairs spontaneously materialising then quickly annihilating, which leads me to a few questions. ...
4
votes
1answer
509 views

The nature of time, according to quantum field theory

I will try my best to ask the question that best fits something I have been pondering on for a few days. Are virtual particles really constantly popping in and out of existence? Or are they ...
1
vote
1answer
213 views

Does path integral and loop integral in a Feynman diagram violate special relativity?

Consider a correlation function between two points A(x1,t1) and B(x2,t2), we need to integrate over paths which could be ...
3
votes
3answers
752 views

what causes virtual particle pair production to not occur in the space occupied by matter?

Are virtual particles only popping in and out of existence where the local energy density is below a certain point? What I wonder is, does any kind of matter prevent the pairs from appearing? Is ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

Are W & Z bosons virtual or not?

W and Z bosons are observed/discovered. But as force carrying bosons they should be virtual particles, unobservable? And also they require to have mass, but if they are virtual they may be off-shell, ...