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Is the Standard Model a particle theory or a field theory? 
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#1
Feb2812, 11:11 AM

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just looking at the standard model, which describes a host of fundamental particles and bosons, one could assume that the SM is a particle model. however, most of what i read appears to indicate that particles are merely "excitations" or manifestations of a field, and it has been stated on this forum that SM is a field theory. this field explanation seems to make sense, since what we consider fundamental "particles" like quarks and leptons, are all point particles with zero volume  ie, there is "nothing" there, only properties.
at the same time, science has no idea of how a field operates, and apparently is built on "spooky action at a distance", since no particles ever actually come into direct contact to impart changes in momentum or energy  they conduct these exchanges via "virtual" particle exchange (magic?). what is your particular view of this? is SM a particle theory or a field theory? thanks. 


#2
Feb2912, 03:47 AM

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I would say that SM is a quantum theory of particles described by the aid of quantum fields. In other words, the physical objects are particles, while the fields are a mathematical tool.
By the way, the "spooky action at a distance" in quantum theory has nothing to do with virtual particles. 


#3
Feb2912, 04:18 AM

P: 3,243

Also the notion of "particle" is a mathematical notion, may it be a composite particle or a pointlike particle.



#4
Feb2912, 07:04 AM

P: 362

Is the Standard Model a particle theory or a field theory?
I would say that it is a field theory.



#5
Feb2912, 11:43 AM

P: 308

demyst  if virtual particles dont represent spooky action at a distance, i dont know what does. i know i am pulling a metaphor here, but the way particles interact, while very well modelled mathematically, is simply baffling from a "how does that happen?' perspective.



#6
Feb2912, 12:26 PM

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#7
Feb2912, 01:39 PM

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fz  how does one particle know that another particle is nearby and necessitates the exchange of virtual particles? how is the exchange of virtual particles initiated? what are virtual particles? maybe that is all clear to you, but i sure dont understand it.



#9
Mar112, 04:05 AM

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#10
Mar112, 06:45 AM

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