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Do fermions produce virtual bosons when they interact?

  1. May 3, 2012 #1
    Dear Physics Forum,

    I understand that forces between fermions are mediated by virtual bosons. My "sense"
    of it is that a fermion produces virtual bosons (quarks would produce photons, gluons, and W/Z bosons; electrons photons and W/Z; neutrinos W/Z) within the confines of the uncertainty principle, and if a second fermion is within the range of the force, it can capture the virtual boson and this is the force exchange.

    I have a few questions 1) do fermions actually produce virtual bosons? does a bosonic
    field exist independently of fermions?
    2) if so, are the continually producing them, or only when "induced"
    by a second particle in its range
    3) how is charge felt if electrons and positrons both
    emit uncharged photons that mediate their interactions?

    I realize this may be trying to put language to math, but I've read at least what seem reasonable mathematical treatments of feynman's rules (griffiths intro to elementary particles) and can't seem to find an answer there.

    Thanks very much, Mark
  2. jcsd
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