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If you want to consider this in terms of QED, then it is easy. Virtual pair production-annihilation is described by a vacuum bubble diagram where two propagators a contracted into a loop and there are no external legs. These kinds of diagrams are usually thrown away when we consider the partition function of the theory. And there is a good reason for that, ...


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Why does the photon decays into two virtual particles and the boson into real ones? The E1 diagram does not conserve energy in the center of mass system. The incoming center of mass energy is the mass of the electron, the outgoing is at least three masses of electrons, and mind you, the electron is an elementary particle and does not decay. Also ...


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My essay Misconceptions about Virtual Particles explains in detail the difference between the popular science view of virtual particles popping in and out of existence and the physical science view of virtual particles as useful (but literally virtual) imagery for talking about complicated integrals for the computation of scattering amplitudes. From the ...



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