Calculating Particle-Antiparticle Rates in Vacuum Space w/ QT

• Jim Hasty
In summary: That's correct.Its just they are not as advanced as the pertubative methods and not understood as well since they are done on computer.

Jim Hasty

I am interested specifically in the rate of formation of particle-antiparticle pairs in the empty void of vacuum space according to Quantum Theory? For example: for any given cubic centimeter of empty vacuum space, the rate of formation of electron-positrons is X pairs per second; the rate of formation of photons, or gravitons, is Y and Z pairs per second, and so on. The term "RATE" would include a complete cycle such as the creation-pairing-annihilation. How would these numbers be calculated according to QT?

Jim Hasty said:
I am interested specifically in the rate of formation of particle-antiparticle pairs in the empty void of vacuum space according to Quantum Theory?

The issue is complicated by the fact its now thought virtual particles are simply an artefact of the perturbation formalism used in QFT - they don't really exist.

Its a bit hard to calculate what you are asking for things that are mathematical artefacts.

Thanks
Bill

bhobba said:
The issue is complicated by the fact its now thought virtual particles are simply an artefact of the perturbation formalism used in QFT - they don't really exist.

Its a bit hard to calculate what you are asking for things that are mathematical artefacts.

Thanks
Bill

If they do not exist - then what explains Hawking Radiation or the Casamir Effect ?

Jim Hasty said:
If they do not exist - then what explains Hawking Radiation or the Casamir Effect ?

We don't know at this stage because non-perturbative methods are still in their infancy. We simply know when they are not used virtual particles do not appear.

Check out:
http://www.mat.univie.ac.at/~neum/physfaq/topics/virtual

'The collection of Feynman diagrams without loops describes exactly the scattering of classical fields in a perturbation theoretic treatment; the diagrams with k loops describe quantum corrections of order O(hbar^k). If virtual particles had a meaning, then they would already exist in classical field theory, since tree diagrams have internal lines. But nobody ever claimed that predictions of classical field theories bare caused by virtual particles.'

Thanks
Bill

Jim Hasty said:
If they do not exist - then what explains Hawking Radiation or the Casamir Effect ?

As I understand it, there are ways of calculating both of these that do not involve virtual particles.

jtbell said:
As I understand it, there are ways of calculating both of these that do not involve virtual particles.

That's correct.

Its just they are not as advanced as the pertubative methods and not understood as well since they are done on computer.

Thanks
Bill

OK. Thank you for enlightening me about "virtual particles" - they don't exist. I would like to propose we end this discussion. I do have more questions that I will pose in some new threads. Thanks to all. Special thanks to Bhobba for the VP reference.

What is the significance of calculating particle-antiparticle rates in vacuum space with quantum theory?

The calculation of particle-antiparticle rates in vacuum space with quantum theory is important because it helps us understand the behavior of particles and antiparticles in the vacuum state. This can provide insights into the fundamental laws of physics and the behavior of matter and energy in the universe.

How is the calculation of particle-antiparticle rates in vacuum space different from other quantum calculations?

The calculation of particle-antiparticle rates in vacuum space is unique because it involves the interaction between particles and antiparticles in the absence of any external influences or background fields. This requires a specialized approach using quantum field theory, which takes into account the uncertain nature of particles and antiparticles in the vacuum state.

What are the main factors that affect the particle-antiparticle rates in vacuum space?

The main factors that influence particle-antiparticle rates in vacuum space include the type and properties of the particles and antiparticles involved, the energy levels and interactions between them, and the presence of any external fields or forces. These factors can vary depending on the specific scenario being studied, making the calculation of rates a complex and dynamic process.

How do scientists use the results of these calculations in practical applications?

The results of particle-antiparticle rate calculations in vacuum space can be used in a variety of practical applications, including particle accelerators, nuclear reactors, and cosmological models. They can also help inform our understanding of phenomena such as dark matter and the early universe. Additionally, these calculations can provide insights into the behavior of matter and energy at a fundamental level, leading to advancements in technology and scientific understanding.

What are the current challenges and limitations in calculating particle-antiparticle rates in vacuum space with quantum theory?

One of the main challenges in these calculations is the complexity and non-linearity of the equations involved, which can make it difficult to obtain exact solutions. Additionally, the uncertainty principle and other quantum effects can introduce uncertainties and limitations in the accuracy of the results. Finally, the need for advanced mathematical techniques and computational power can also pose challenges in performing these calculations.