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Jun1-04, 10:58 PM
P: 203
So for a very short time there can be an increase of energy/mass. Does this also work in the opposite direction? Can an already existing particle such as an electron or proton blink out of existence for a short period of time?
No it cannot, because proton is not the antiparticle of electron. A positron is the real antiparticle of electron.

Virtual particles are created in pairs, particle and antiparticle such that conservation laws are not violated.
I'm not sure if this argument is valid. When you say virtual particles are created in pairs, does that imply simultaneity? But in the real world there is no simultaneity. So, can two observers in two different frame of references see a different order of events?

The above also rises the question whether the Law of Conservation of Energy is symmetrical at quantum scale?