# Why aren't charged particles constantly shining?

According to Quantum Electrodynamics, electrically charged particles interact by exchanging photons. This answer gives a concise explanation of this process, which describes how the exchange of virtual photons creates repulsion and attraction between charged particles.

This got me thinking, if at any given time countless of photons are being exchanged between particles, why doesn't everything constantly shine? I know virtual photons exist for a brief moment and their only task is (instantly) traveling between charged particles to produce the electromagnetic field between them. But wouldn't charged particles be constantly emitting some sort of radiation? If so, what's the wavelength of this radiation?

• Indeed, a charged object does have an effect on your eye; for example, it pulls on your cells' electrons and neutrons. But to excite the actual photoreceptors, to see something, you need light of a given frequency, which only comes from charges shaking at that frequency. – knzhou Oct 30 '16 at 1:36
• BTW charged particles are shining. We live in a world of thermic radiation. All the time every body around us receive and emit EM radiation. Only a body with temperature 0 Kelvin would not radiate, but reach this zero point is impossible. More than this, uncharged particles emit and receive EM radiation too. – HolgerFiedler Oct 30 '16 at 7:48
• More on the idea of photon exchange and its actual meaning: physics.stackexchange.com/q/2244/50583, physics.stackexchange.com/q/142159/50583 and their linked questions. – ACuriousMind Oct 30 '16 at 15:14

• If you want to add something to your answer, please use the edit button instead of adding comments. – ACuriousMind Oct 30 '16 at 15:16