If we consider mass and charge to be excitations of independent quantum fields, do they necessarily travel together? Can we have objects with only an excitation on the mass field, and objects with only an excitation on the charge field? Could the latter be light?


There are no mass and electric charge fields. Instead, there is an electron field, a photon field, a quark field, a gluon field, etc. Mass and electric charge are properties of field quanta. Electrons and quarks both have mass and electric charge; photons and gluons have neither.

You can definitely have mass without electric charge. For example, a Z boson does, and neutrinos too (since they are believed to have a small mass).

There are no known particles with electric charge but without mass.

  • $\begingroup$ I posit they are light. $\endgroup$ – NonSecwitter Jan 13 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ Justification : Symmetry $\endgroup$ – NonSecwitter Jan 14 at 0:01
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    $\begingroup$ There have been plenty of experiments on photons, from very low-energy ones to very high-energy ones. There has never been any evidence that they have even the slightest bit of electric charge. You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of electromagnetism. Electric charge causes an electromagnetic field, but that does not mean that an electromagnetic field has charge. This has been understood for 150 years. $\endgroup$ – G. Smith Jan 14 at 1:26
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    $\begingroup$ BTW, gluons are massless particles that do have a kind of charge, but it isn’t electric charge; it’s “color charge”. The fact that photons don’t have the kind of charge for the force they carry, while gluons do, can be understood theoretically in terms of the different symmetry groups for their interactions. A commutatve symmetry group, like electromagnetism’s U(1), means no charge on the force-carrying particles. A noncommutative symmetry group, like SU(3) for the color interaction, means charge on the force-carrying particles. So symmetry is involved, but not like you think. $\endgroup$ – G. Smith Jan 14 at 1:37
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    $\begingroup$ Saying “I posit” in a physics forum is a bad idea until you have actually studied and understood physics. And, even then, this site has no interest in any personal theories. We deal only with mainstream physics here. $\endgroup$ – G. Smith Jan 14 at 1:42

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