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Are virtual particles real?

Skepticalone
Posts: 6,093
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2/6/2016 3:28:58 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
http://io9.gizmodo.com...

This guy seems to think so...
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
keithprosser
Posts: 1,951
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2/6/2016 1:45:45 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
They are real, but they are not particles. They are 'things' that arise as the result of the interaction of real particles and are called 'virtual particles' but they are not short lived 'normal' particles. A virtual photon is not a photon at all but something quite distinct that behaves the same as rather odd photon, say one with mass (or negative mass). There is no massive photon in the system, but you can do your calculations on the basis that there is.

From the linked article,

Photons are supposed to be massless, and so they travel at the speed of light (of course). But in the calculations, there are small contributions from photons that have mass, and others that effectively have a negative mass. Electrons, gluons, W bosons, you name it, show up in these calculations, and whenever it comes time to include their mass component, the "normal" mass turns out to be just a good suggestion, not a hard and fast rule. These gross violations can be forgiven because they're only virtual. At the end of the calculations, all of the particles are their regular masses once again and all the virtual particles drop back into the vacuum where they belong.

Virtual particles are not nothing (so they do 'exist'), but they aren't short lived versions of particles. Nothing is QM is that simple.
famousdebater
Posts: 3,940
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2/6/2016 1:54:10 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
Of course they're real things. The question is whether or not it contradicts the laws of physics that we were so certain of prior to this.
"Life calls the tune, we dance."
John Galsworthy
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,584
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2/6/2016 4:36:14 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
This other poster addressed this subject well in a separate post:

http://www.debate.org...

Clearly he has a deeper understanding than most, including me.

Harry.
slo1
Posts: 4,318
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2/6/2016 4:57:42 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/6/2016 3:28:58 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
http://io9.gizmodo.com...

This guy seems to think so...

Yes, virtual particles are real. Empirical evidence via experiments have proven they are real beyond a doubt. Not to mention all the inferred experimentation that could only be explained by virtual particles.

I'm not ragging on you, but your question highlights how poor our education and science reporting is describing whether a concept is validated or at a hypothetical stage.

The other point, even though they have been proven beyond a doubt, it still gives no insight as to why nature's acts so strangely.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,093
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2/6/2016 6:43:39 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/6/2016 4:57:42 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 2/6/2016 3:28:58 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
http://io9.gizmodo.com...

This guy seems to think so...

Yes, virtual particles are real. Empirical evidence via experiments have proven they are real beyond a doubt. Not to mention all the inferred experimentation that could only be explained by virtual particles.

I'm not ragging on you, but your question highlights how poor our education and science reporting is describing whether a concept is validated or at a hypothetical stage.

No, I take no offense at that. I was under the impression that we were talking about real things with virtual particles. I asked to see if that was controversial. A recent conversation partner seemed to think it was.

The other point, even though they have been proven beyond a doubt, it still gives no insight as to why nature's acts so strangely.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
keithprosser
Posts: 1,951
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2/6/2016 7:26:27 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
I'm sure VPs aren't controversial. You do get VPs when quantum particles interact and from vacuum fluctuations. There is no doubt about that. I've been posting because VPs are a kind of quantum object in their own right, quite separate from real particles.

A virtual anti-proton is something that has the same mathematical description as a real proton with negative mass but it isn't a proton with negative mass. It is what it is.
slo1
Posts: 4,318
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2/7/2016 4:46:25 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/6/2016 6:43:39 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 2/6/2016 4:57:42 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 2/6/2016 3:28:58 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
http://io9.gizmodo.com...

This guy seems to think so...

Yes, virtual particles are real. Empirical evidence via experiments have proven they are real beyond a doubt. Not to mention all the inferred experimentation that could only be explained by virtual particles.

I'm not ragging on you, but your question highlights how poor our education and science reporting is describing whether a concept is validated or at a hypothetical stage.

No, I take no offense at that. I was under the impression that we were talking about real things with virtual particles. I asked to see if that was controversial. A recent conversation partner seemed to think it was.

The other point, even though they have been proven beyond a doubt, it still gives no insight as to why nature's acts so strangely.

They are real things. If you craft a special type of mirror that oscillates at 1/3 the speed of light and put it in a vacuum, when a virtual particles pops in existence in front of the mirror there is a transfer of energy to the VP and it goes flying into a detector. It is a repeatable experiment and removes all controversy as far as they being a real physical phenomena.