Register to reply

Are field quanta real?

by I2004
Tags: field, quanta, real
Share this thread:
I2004
#1
Dec28-12, 09:52 AM
P: 57
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=r...20real&f=false

are field quanta in quantum field theory real? this book seems to suggest they are not? on the link just scroll down a bit.

but as reality is made of field quanta? does that mean nothing is real? am I missing something again?

help again please ....
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
'Squid skin' metamaterials project yields vivid color display
Team finds elusive quantum transformations near absolute zero
Scientists control surface tension to manipulate liquid metals (w/ Video)
Nugatory
#2
Dec28-12, 10:26 AM
Mentor
P: 3,924
Quote Quote by I2004 View Post
are field quanta in quantum field theory real? this book seems to suggest they are not? on the link just scroll down a bit.
but as reality is made of field quanta? does that mean nothing is real? am I missing something again?
It's not so much that you're missing something, as that you're looking for something that's not there. Quantum mechanics will tell you how real things really behave in the real world. It will not pretend to tell you what's real and what's not, and it won't tell you anything about things whose behavior you cannot directly or indirectly observe. You aren't the first person to be exasperated by this aspect of QM and you aren't going to be the last.

You might want to search around for the "Minimal Statistical Interpretation" - try Google, and look for some of VanHees71's posts here. You'll probably find it to be unsatisfying (but the universe is under no obligation to satisfy you about much of anything); but it will tell you what sorts of questions you can expect QM to answer for you.
Bill_K
#3
Dec29-12, 07:27 AM
Sci Advisor
Thanks
Bill_K's Avatar
P: 4,160
are field quanta in quantum field theory real
? this book seems to suggest they are not?
What it says is that there are states in which the number of quanta present is not well-defined. This does not mean they fail to be real. He immediately goes on to compare this situation to states in which the momentum is not well-defined, which does not mean that momentum fails to be real either!

sshai45
#4
Dec31-12, 10:26 PM
P: 64
Are field quanta real?

Quote Quote by Nugatory View Post
It's not so much that you're missing something, as that you're looking for something that's not there. Quantum mechanics will tell you how real things really behave in the real world. It will not pretend to tell you what's real and what's not, and it won't tell you anything about things whose behavior you cannot directly or indirectly observe. You aren't the first person to be exasperated by this aspect of QM and you aren't going to be the last.
Does this mean there is a big, unfillable gap in our knowledge here, then, or what?


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Real field and spinors? Quantum Physics 5
Real relativistic field and curvature? General Physics 6
How unlike real elevator (Rindler field) is field from planar mass? General Physics 0
Electromagnetic waves inside an oven - quanta Quantum Physics 0