Do gauge bosons really exist or are they only a mathematical model? Have we ever detected them?

put on hold as unclear what you're asking by AccidentalFourierTransform, Cosmas Zachos, Chair, Jon Custer, peterh yesterday

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  • we only observed predictions that match the mathematical model, which can be adjusted as much as you want to match the observations – Wolphram jonny 2 days ago
  • What do you mean by observe? What does it mean, for example, to observe a photon? – Alfred Centauri 2 days ago
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    "Does gauge bosons really exist or they are only mathematical model?" What's the difference? – AccidentalFourierTransform yesterday
  • They exist. But it is just my opinion. – peterh yesterday

Photons, which are gauge bosons, are absorbed by the retina and cause impulses in the optic nerve. In a very dark room, the eye can detect small numbers of photons. Researchers argue about how few, but you don't have to have a classical electromagnetic wave to excite retinal cells.

Direct perception of photons through one of the five senses tells me that they exist, although questions of "existence" are more about philosophy than physics. (Does Fock space "exist"? If so, where?) I choose to believe that many things "exist" that I cannot perceive with my senses. People once did not even believe in atoms; but I do, even though I haven't seen one with my eyes.

We can't perceive W and Z bosons, or gluons, through our senses the way can perceive photons. But the Standard Model makes accurate predictions so it makes sense to assume that they exist as much as anything else exists.

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