Linked Questions

2
votes
2answers
2k views

Are virtual particles limited by the speed of light? [duplicate]

I have recently been reading about Quantum Electrodynamics which I found very interesting, but even more confusing. I understand photons mediate the electromagnetic force and interactions between ...
2
votes
0answers
82 views

Are virtual particles experimentally verifiable? [duplicate]

If not, why do we include such a description for force interactions? It seems to me that physics implements virtual particles as a means to do calculations. If this is the case, what is the ...
38
votes
3answers
10k views

Are W & Z bosons virtual or not?

W and Z bosons are observed/discovered. But as force carrying bosons they should be virtual particles, unobservable? And also they require to have mass, but if they are virtual they may be off-shell, ...
25
votes
7answers
3k views

Are vacuum fluctuations really happening all the time?

In popular physics articles and even some physics classes I've been to, the vacuum of space is described as being constantly full of quantum fluctuations. Supposedly, all sorts of particle-...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Are virtual particles only a fictive tool in equations?

There is no "action at a distance" in nature. Attraction of a piece of iron by a magnet, attraction between distant electric charges of opposite sign, have to be mediated by something. The virtual ...
17
votes
2answers
11k views

Virtual photons, what makes them virtual?

The wikipedia page "Force Carrier" says: The electromagnetic force can be described by the exchange of virtual photons. The virtual photon thing baffles me a little. I get that virtual particles ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Why aren't all photons virtual particles even in the “vacuum” of empty space? [duplicate]

I'm thoroughly confused about the nature of electromagnetic radiation. Light is supposed to exhibit both wave and particle characteristics. But does that mean that it is both a wave and a particle or ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

Energy conservation limited by uncertainty principle

The way I learned it from practicing Fourier analysis and signal processing besides quantum mechanics, is that Energy conservation cannot be achieved in short time scales, and that limits energy ...
7
votes
3answers
860 views

Can photons travel faster than $c$? (Feynman Lectures)

I apologise for the very non-technical nature of this question. I am new to QED and perhaps am interpreting things in the wrong way, but I'll ask anyway, and hopefully someone can provide a non-...
-4
votes
1answer
289 views

are sub-atomic particles really particles or mere concepts in our minds? [closed]

are sub-atomic particles really particles or mere concepts in our minds? do they exist independently of human thought? In the tenth century, Ibn al-Haytham initiated the view that light proceeds ...
1
vote
1answer
278 views

Are quantum fluctuations in space real or virtual?

According to the uncertainty principle, the uncertainty in energy $\Delta E$ in a region of otherwise empty space $\Delta x$ is approximately $$\Delta E \sim \frac{hc}{\Delta x}.$$ Thus there should ...