I have read this question:


The electric field lines from a point charge — and the rays of light when the charge is replaced by a source of light — follow the same trajectory even in a constant gravitational field! They both get distorted in the same way as shown in Fig. 26.1.

Now the static electric field's force is mediated by virtual photons. These are not real particles, but they are a mathematical model to describe the way the static field interacts with other particles.

Are static magnetic and electric fields distorted by gravity? How?

where G. Smith says:

Yes, electromagnetic fields are distorted by gravity. In our current theory of gravity (Einstein’s General Relativity), gravity is explained as spacetime curvature. Maxwell’s equations can be reformulated in curved spacetime, so one can, for example, study the electric field of a static point charge outside a black hole. There is even an exact analytic solution to this electrostatics problem, at least in the simplest case of a Schwarzschild black hole.

Now we have experimentally seen that the static field lines are affected by spacetime curvature.

We describe the static field in terms of being mediated by virtual photons, but virtual photons are just a mathematical description, they are not real particles.

Now, what is not clearly stated, is that virtual particles that mediate the static field's force, do follow the curvature of spacetime or not? If the field lines follow the curvature, and we describe the field lines in terms of virtual photons, then virtual photons must follow spacetime curvature.


  • Do virtual photons follow spacetime curvature?
  • $\begingroup$ The integral of virtual lines over the boundary conditions end up giving the field lines. The boundary conditions are on the available $Q^2$ of the interaction and its range gives the limits of integration. Then one can have a field line, so it is not reasonable to talk of individual virtual photons as they do not exist in a measurable form. Only their integral can be checked. $\endgroup$ – anna v Aug 10 at 14:42
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    $\begingroup$ You will probably get answers telling you to stop thinking about virtual particles, and you might even get some kind answers that try to make sense out of your question in terms of propagators or something. Let me cut to the chase. If you are wondering if physicists have adapted any particular bit of physics to work in a curved spacetime background the answer is always, yes they have. $\endgroup$ – octonion Aug 10 at 14:56

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