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18
votes
5answers
4k 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, ...
13
votes
8answers
4k views

Can the magnetic lines of force of two or more magnets intersect each other?

Basic property of magnetic lines of force is that, they can never intersect each other. Among the two points given below, which one is correct? Magnetic lines of force of same magnet can't intersect ...
11
votes
1answer
336 views

How is it possible the speed of light is not constant?

I was reading this article recently, which summarizes a couple of new studies into the speed of light. In one paper, Marcel Urban from the University of Paris-Sud, located in Orsay, France and his ...
8
votes
2answers
717 views

Is there a “difference” between photons that act as virtual particles and photons that act as the quanta of EM radiation?

I) I know that virtual-photons are known to be the force-carriers for the Electromagnetic force, and that they are called "virtual" because the Energy-Time-inequality version of the Heisenberg ...
7
votes
3answers
660 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? ...
7
votes
3answers
697 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. ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
724 views

Hawking Radiation - Why it causes black holes to die? [duplicate]

If a particle is being expelled from the Black Hole and an antiparticle is being driven into it, shouldn't the opposite occur as well and in the same frequencies? I mean Black holes should emit ...
6
votes
2answers
799 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
905 views

How do we distinguish between virtual particle exchange and particle decay?

The difference between virtual particles and unstable particles is discussed at length in this question (namely, virtual particles correspond to internal lines in Feynman diagrams and are not ...
6
votes
1answer
233 views

Quantum Electrodynamics

I was wondering if anyone could give a simple explanation of how light interacts with matter. From what I have read in QED, electrons will repel each other because of their ability to emit and ...
5
votes
3answers
790 views

Why aren't all photons virtual particles even in the “vacuum” of empty space? [duplicate]

I'm thoroughly confused about the nature of electromagnetic radiation. Light is supposed to exhibit both wave and particle characteristics. But does that mean that it is both a wave and a particle or ...
5
votes
3answers
416 views

Virtual Higgs boson?

Can particles emit a virtual Higgs boson in a similar manner to the way a virtual photon is emitted?
5
votes
2answers
8k views

What exists in the Space between atoms

Apologies to all if this has been asked before, I searched but was unable to find one similar. This is a question that has been bugging me for a while that i haven't really been able to find a ...
5
votes
1answer
610 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
497 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
142 views

Energy conservation of Virtual Particles - Quantum Fluctuation?

I (as a middle-school student) was wondering how virtual particles even conserve energy of the entire system? I don't mean just the particle's energy, but conservation with respect to the ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

If virtual particles have negative mass why do they contribute positive mass to atoms?

According to Lawrence Krauss, atoms containing in our body consists of merely 10% (if I remember correctly) of our total mass. The rest come from virtual particles popping in and out of existence from ...
4
votes
1answer
115 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
244 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
143 views

Will the increasing rate of expansion of the universe eventually result in Hawking Radiation suddenly occurring everywhere?

The universe is expanding at an ever increasing rate. Virtual particles are being created and then destroyed everywhere at every moment. As space expands even faster, will a time come when these ...
3
votes
2answers
86 views

Is it possible to create matter from space?

Like could maybe fluctuate the space some how and make the virtual paricles turn into normal matter
3
votes
2answers
636 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
120 views

Virtual particles/quantum tunneling - conservation of energy?

I'm confused as to how the above phenomena can take place since arent they breaking the law of conservation of energy (even, if temporarily)?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What force particle mediates electric fields and magnetic fields?

The force carrier for magnetic fields and electric fields are supposedly photons. I don't get it: 1) Wouldn't that mean that a charged particle (e.g. an electron or even a polarized H2O molecule) ...
3
votes
3answers
888 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
194 views

Virtual particles in semiclassical Quantum mechanics

(I'm just wondering if some of the concepts in QFT can be exported back to QM, especially the concept of virtual particle) So I've just read Arnold Neumaier's description about virtual particle in ...
3
votes
0answers
65 views

Feynman Toy Model Constraints on Number of Each Kind of External Lines

(From my homework) In our toy model we have three kinds of spinless particles: $A$, $B$, and $C$. The primitive vertex of decay/interaction is shown below: My actual problem statement says: ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

Are gravitons bound by the event horizon?

I understand that photons, even when traveling at the speed of light, cannot escape the event horizon of a black hole. Are gravitons and other virtual particles traveling at the speed of light also ...
3
votes
0answers
46 views

Scattering theory on Schrodinger and Feynman languages

Recently I heard that both of "languages" of scattering theory (formal solution by method of classical scattering theory and its reworking by Feynman with his rules) predict virtual particles. But for ...
3
votes
0answers
99 views

At what expansion rate (H) would virtual particles be ripped apart into real particles, and what might be the density (temperature) of such an event?

Is it even possible for a virtual particle-antiparticle pair to be torn apart by cosmological expansion? Virtual particle-antiparticle pairs are ripped apart near black hole event horizons, creating ...
2
votes
2answers
307 views

Are virtual particles limited by the speed of light? [duplicate]

I have recently been reading about Quantum Electrodynamics which I found very interesting, but even more confusing. I understand photons mediate the electromagnetic force and interactions between ...
2
votes
2answers
495 views

If nothing weighs something then doesn't that mean there is mass associated with spacetime?

Lawrence M. Krauss says, "If you removed all of the particles, all of the radiation,absolutely everything from space and all that remained was nothing that nothing would weigh something." What ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

momentum conservation and gluons

The process is the following: $$e^-e^+ \rightarrow photon \rightarrow quark + antiquark$$ Regarding the momentum conservation law, how come we have a photon of spin 1 and at the end some meson with ...
2
votes
1answer
254 views

Black Hole evaporation through virtual couples at the horizon

I read about vacuum energy. It explains the Hawking radiation, the black hole necessary radiation: Physical insight into the process may be gained by imagining that particle-antiparticle ...
2
votes
1answer
199 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
705 views

Are there any other mechanisms that can make virtual particles 'real' other than Hawking Radiation and Universe Births?

As I understand it, if virtual particles do not recombine within the plank time they become 'real'. This is proposed to happen in Hawking Radiation, where one virtual particle crosses the black ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Time taken for gravity of a distant object to interact with a newly created particle? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The speed of gravity Does gravity travel at the speed of light? Imagine there is a large mass $m_1$ (e.g. a star) 1 light-year away from us. It is stable, stationary ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Can some amount of gravity be caused by virtual particles?

On the scale of a galaxy, can vacuum-based pairs of virtual particles be noticed gravitationally? Even though they are short-lived, shouldn't their mass and numbers be enough to be measured/felt?
2
votes
0answers
49 views

Can the rate of virtual pair production from vacuum be computed?

Consider for instance the QED Lagrangian. Is it possible to compute the rate of virtual electron-positron creation from the vacuum?
2
votes
0answers
157 views

photon and Z boson interference?

I'm not certain that this question will make sense, but here goes... In most monte carlo generators, when Z events are produced, there is a lower mass cutoff on the Z pole. I've been told that this ...
1
vote
3answers
332 views

Does the the quantum field theoretic process of particle–antiparticle annihilation break the axioms of Special Relativity?

$\textbf{Note that this diagram hasn't anything to do with the question directly.}$ After a particle and its antiparticle annihilate, their energy is converted into a force carrier particle, such ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Is all matter made of virtual particles?

This article in New Scientist says that all matter is actually virtual particles popping in and out of existence and nothing more. is this correct?
1
vote
1answer
953 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
3answers
109 views

Can the vacuum be filled with virtual micro-black holes?

Since the vacuum is thought to be virtual particles, is it possible that there might be virtual micro-black holes with virtual horizons and virtual hawking radiation which form and evaporate at a rate ...
1
vote
1answer
268 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
425 views

How does negative energy from Hawking Radiation cause a Black Hole to shrink? [duplicate]

Hello this is expanding upon a question that was previously asked on stack exchange that I linked below. From what I understand of Black Holes is that overtime Hawking Radiation results in the Black ...
1
vote
2answers
237 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Do virtual photons/magnetic fields change speed in a medium?

Light can be slowed down to a walking pace and even stopped in a medium of hot rubidium vapour. If an electromagnet was placed in this medium and turned on would the popagation of the magnetic field ...
1
vote
1answer
124 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 ...