Since electrons pop in and out of existence, are they virtual particles?
Because they pop in and out of existence, yet have the property of mass.
I think I read something by Carlo Rovelli recently that seemed to suggest that electrons do behave in this way, if they can even be considered 'particles'.
Does it not follow logically from them being elementary particles with no structure, so that quantum mechanics says they can be in one place in a given moment and any other place (depending on probabilities) in the next moment - hence, 'pop in and out of existence'?
I don't think "no structure" is a good description of an elementary particle...Does it not follow logically from them being elementary particles with no structure,
I think QM says that a particle can be at many place at any moment. Because all these are probabilities that sum up to 1, there is always one particle at any moment. Nothing is pop'ping in and out. (even in tunneling)so that quantum mechanics says they can be in one place in a given moment and any other place (depending on probabilities) in the next moment - hence, 'pop in and out of existence'?
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No, it really is. It is very important for to distinguish between the model (the theory) and the correct words applied to it (like 'smeared'), and the words you did employ to describe 'real' thing you have in your mind that"pop in and out" (which is incorrect).So a particle being 'smeared' isn't really a more accurate term to use than 'popping in and out of existence';
No, it really need be. Because the only purpose of science is the the mathematical prediction (even if only probabilities) matches observation/reality.also, it needn't be correct simply because there's some mathematics to support it.
Thank you for your reply.
I have given you my evidence, so it's clear enough for people to see and judge for themselves; I refer you back to it, and do not resile from it.
I don't appreciate your tone, but it seems that some people are more 'moderated' on here than others. Bye!
Nobody is giving you a hard time here just for the sake of it. You didn't even make the original claim. But here, even without going into "interpretation territory', the key word is "imagined"."Heisenberg imagined that electrons do not always exist.
The keyword here is "only". This is a mistake. The theory doesn't say the electron does not exist between measurement. It is this famous interpretation debate.They only exist when someone or something watches them, or better, when they are interacting with something else.
Yes but nothing says that they de-materialize in between. It is just a probability to be found at a place, in less spooky (an prone to miss-interpretation) wordsThey materialise in a place, with a calculable probability, when colliding with something else. The 'quantum leaps' from one orbit to another are the only means they have of being 'real': an electron is a set of jumps from one interaction to another. When nothing disturbs it, it is not in any precise place. it is not in a 'place' at all." (p.15); and,
A sad choice of word. They just can be observed (here then there)."They are elementary excitations of a moving substratum similar to the field of Faraday and Maxwell. Miniscule moving wavelets. They disappear and reappear according to the strange laws of quantum mechanics..." (p.30) - here he is referring to quanta generally, but does give electrons as one example of these on page 29; and,
Not really. This quote seems to be taken out of context. I don't have the full original quote, but it seems to me that this sentence is about virtual-particle (reading the article link in post #3 will help you out.All of which, I think, supports the phrasing of the original post
That's not why it is correct. Math is always correct ... by definition. It is correct up to it's validation/vindication per experiment.Regarding something being correct, simply because there is some mathematics to support it, I would refer you to the difficulties of the Standard Model that, according to Mr Rovelli, has:
And yet, there is no escaping simple logic. You have to explain how one thing can go trough two slit to interfere with itself. An extension of QM kind of try to remove the "smearing" at the expense of electron trajectory being as weird as a simple "probability wave packet".So at least you can see where I'm coming from (although I don't yet acknowledge that it is a single electron (i.e. a particle) that is 'smeared out' in the double slit experiment).
It was 'Seven Brief Lessons On Physics', by Carlo Rovelli; however, as you say, I may well have misinterpreted what I read.
particle-physicist/cosmologist Lisa Randall's Knocking on Heaven's Door (2011).
Quantum mechanics tells us that the vacuum - the state with no permanent particles present - is actually filled with ephemeral particles that pop in and out of existence.
both speak to the idea I was trying to convey that mathematics and probability are not necessarily enough to explain a scientific process: they can be expedient, lack thoroughness and rigour about what is actually, physically, happening.
But I still don't think electrons are anything more that the 'charged' electromagnetic field (...) but that's probably just my ignorance again!
Since I haven't any access to peer-reviewed material
I think this is or was a thread for novices
here's another book from the library that I was reading this week: particle-physicist/cosmologist Lisa Randall's Knocking on Heaven's Door (2011).
I still don't think electrons are anything more that the 'charged' electromagnetic field
It's pure pop-science nonsense, and it's been debunked here a lot of time. I'm wondering what makes some physicists think that just because they write to lay-people they can write such things. PhysicsForums is a great place to learn, but the way to do this is not to argue with specialists based on such books.
1. Define "actually, physically happening".
2. If you put enough thought in that, you will realise that mathematics is the best thing we have.
Quantum electrodynamics is quite old, so we know for quite a long time what is the difference between electrons (electron field) and electromagnetic field. If you still want to ignore that fact that would make you an ignorant. But I'm sure you don't want to ignore it
Sure you do. Go to arxiv.org.
Thank you, I will look at this.
Also, you can look at textbooks.
No. The electron field and the electromagnetic field are different fields. The particle that corresponds to the electromagnetic field is the photon, which has no charge.
By actually, physically happening I meant any method that resorts to renormalisation (which I've seen mathematicians refer to as a mathematical "trick") and cancelling infinities seems unlikely to be an accurate description of the underlying natural process that links cause and effect.
I thought the electron field was a subset of the electromagnetic field such that the photon carried the force (boson), whilst the electron 'field' carried the charge (fermion).
In the same way I thought that the graviton carried the force of the gravitational field/spacetime
gravity+ and antigravity- were the charge carriers/fermions for that field (hence, continuing inflation of the universe through uniform spread of antigravity- charge throughout the universe, offsetting the more focused gravity+ charge found with concentrated masses of matter-energy).
But, then, I thought that the Higgs field and the Weak field were two sides of the same coin: charge-to-matter (Higgs) and matter-to-charge (Weak)...ho-hum!