Can virtual particles have an imaginary mass?

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  • #1
Lunct
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I was talking to a physicist who said to me that virtual particles can have a mass of a constant times by i ,as in the root of -1. I have been thinking about this more and it intrigues me. I have done some research into this and can't find further details.
If they have an imaginary mass does this mean their Lorentz factor can't be calculated? And if so, can they move faster than light?
 

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  • #4
weirdoguy
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I have read that the casimir effect happens due to virtual particles, so then surely they must interact with something.

Casimir effect can be perfectly described without virtual particles. This has been discussed here multiple times, use "search" function. And also, again, I suggest reading links that I gave you. "Virtual particles" is just a name for a certain mathematical formulas that appear in perturbative quantum field theory. They don't exist outside the formalism.
 
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  • #5
Vanadium 50
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I was talking to a physicist who said to me

You've been here long enough to know this is not an acceptable reference.

I have read that

Nor is this.

We can spend a lifetime dealing with misheard and misunderstood comments from "I know a guy who knows a guy". But that doesn't mean we should.
 
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  • #6
Lunct
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You've been here long enough to know this is not an acceptable reference.



Nor is this.

We can spend a lifetime dealing with misheard and misunderstood comments from "I know a guy who knows a guy". But that doesn't mean we should.
Casimir effect can be perfectly described without virtual particles. This has been discussed here multiple times, use "search" function. And also, again, I suggest reading links that I gave you. "Virtual particles" is just a name for a certain mathematical formulas that appear in perturbative quantum field theory. They don't exist outside the formalism.
fair enough
 
  • #7
fresh_42
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Especially post #2 includes all that can be said to this subject, so I close this thread now.
 

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