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Mark M
Mar8-12, 01:36 PM
P: 526
Quote Quote by Chalnoth View Post
Well, the best way to understand this is that it's largely just a heuristic device to get a rough picture of what's going on. I can't say I understand the entire effect, as I have never done the calculations myself. I will simply say that local conservation laws frequently force particles to have weird masses in quantum field theory. For example, when two electrons interact and exchange virtual photons, those virtual photons are forced to have negative mass squared (which is one reason why they're called virtual photons).
Thank you for clarifying.