I hope this isn't too clumsy a question, but I'm trying to figure out if my way of thinking about virtual particles is reasonably OK or completely wrong. This question got me thinking about it though I've thought about this before.
Say you have a virtual pair creation, an Electron and a Positron and a near by atom with an electron near by. (yes, I know, Heisenberg says knowing how near is kind of tricky), but theoretically, the Electron around the atom should be able to hit the virtual Positron and disappear and the virtual particle should be able to replace the Electron.
My hobbyist understanding of quantum physics leads me to think this kind of thing happens all the time. It provides a method by which particles can apparently teleport instantaneously. My primary question is whether this is a bad way to look at it, if this needs correction or if it's accurate enough?
A secondary/related question is, is there any measurable difference if a "real" particle is replaced by a virtual particle in this way. My guess would be that there's no measurable change, since it happens all the time.