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Do Electrons Excite the EMF or do the Virtual Photons?

  1. Dec 3, 2015 #1
    Do electrons excite the EM field or do they just create virtual photons that do? If you could only see EMF excitations, would you see the electrons or virtual photons coming from the electrons?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Electrons couple to the EM field:

    I don't know what you mean by excite but as you can see from the above the coupling increases with increasing energy and results in the pathological Landau pole. But long before that energy is reached the electroweak theory takes over. I think the electroweak theory has its own Landau pole but I am not conversant enough to comment with any authority.

    The other thing you need to understand is virtual particles are not particles - they are simply the pictorial representation of terms in what's called the Dyson series:

    Just as an aside such series are in fact divergent. How to make sense of them is an interesting issue addressed in the following lectures I am currently working through:

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
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