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Can protons emit-absorb virtual photons?

  1. Sep 3, 2004 #1
    Can protons emit-absorb "virtual" photons?

    Does a free single proton behave like a free electron in the sense that it emits and absorbs "vitrual" photons as it interacts with another free or bound proton?

    Are there any special conditions under which protons emit and absorb "virtual" photons?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2004 #2
    Protons are constituted out of quarks and since all quarks from the three families can interact via the electromagnetic force, the answer is YES.

    When looked at these interactions in an QFT-like manner, virtual fotons can be emitted and absorbed.

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