Linked Questions

9 votes
3 answers
1k views

Heisenberg energy uncertainty [duplicate]

I am biologist and just new to the field of quantum mechanics and trying to understand the subject by reading. It is said that virtual particles are created due to the uncertainty of energy when ...
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  • 466
2 votes
0 answers
215 views

If virtual particles violate for a little moment the conservation of energy, can energy be created? [duplicate]

And if that is the case, can an infinite amount of it be created? Does this mean that the potential energy or the energy that can potentially be created is infinite?
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  • 187
0 votes
2 answers
69 views

Virtual particles, conservation of energy & the fabric of space [duplicate]

Do virtual particles take energy from the fabric space and when they annihilate in the split second they distribute that energy back to space, therefore abiding by the law for the conservation of ...
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2 votes
0 answers
68 views

Uncertainty principle relation for virtual particles [duplicate]

I have heard from a physicist uncertainty principle as we know it $$\Delta E \cdot \Delta t \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}$$ holds only for REAL particles. For VIRTUAL particles (in vacuum fluctuation), the ...
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  • 881
113 votes
18 answers
17k views

Can the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle be explained intuitively?

I have heard several pseudoscientific explanations about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and find them hard to believe. As a mathematician mainly focusing on functional analysis, I have a ...
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  • 1,240
44 votes
4 answers
14k views

Do virtual particles actually physically exist?

I have heard virtual particles pop in and out of existence all the time, most notable being the pairs that pop out beside black holes and while one gets pulled away. But wouldn't this actually violate ...
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27 votes
5 answers
6k views

What actually are virtual particles?

What actually are virtual particles? In various places around physics SE, documentaries and occasional news headlines, I see the term "virtual particles", normally virtual photons. I have tried ...
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8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Virtual Particles real? Virtual particles create a universe?

I am reading the book of Lawrence Krauss "A universe out of nothing", where he explained that the vacuum is not empty. It is a boiling brew of virtual particles that come out of their existence. And ...
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  • 307
4 votes
2 answers
481 views

Do virtual particles emit radiation?

When spontaneous electron / positron pairs annihilate, do they emit photons? If so, does this not negate the first law of thermodynamics?
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  • 51
1 vote
4 answers
998 views

What happens to light at points of intersection? [duplicate]

Background Knowledge Researching on light led me to wave-particle duality and its properties regarding photons. All the sources I have seen agree that the frequency of the wave nature defines how we ...
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5 votes
1 answer
727 views

How will a particle moving off its mass shell appear/behave if it is observed in the real world?

Edit: my question is not directly about Feynman diagram, but instead about the nature of off shell objects, were they as common as the on shell ones. I am trying to suggest that if an electron goes ...
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5 votes
3 answers
281 views

Are "virtual particles" is just an analogy?

I was reading an answer in this exchange trying to explain Hawking Radiation to non-physicists (like myself) An explanation of Hawking Radiation . It informed me that the whole "virtual particle ...
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13 votes
1 answer
347 views

Why aren't all particles virtual? [duplicate]

It is my understanding that virtual particles are those that are internal to a particular interaction. They do not fulfill the requirements of a freely-travelling particle (ie a plane wave) and as ...
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2 votes
1 answer
377 views

Is there a standard convention for whether the term "handedness" refers to helicity or chirality?

I was under the impression that the "handedness" of a massive spin-1/2 particle refers to its chirality rather than its helicity. This answer, this one and Srednicki's QFT textbook seem to use the ...
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  • 41.3k
1 vote
2 answers
211 views

Does the property of being "virtual" for a particle depend on the observer?

I've read at several places that a static magnetic (and electric for that matter) field can be thought of as made by virtual photons, at least that's what I understood. Now, in Special Relativity we ...
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