Explain electromagnetic attractive and repulsive force via virtual photon exchange?

  • Thread starter rogainuser
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Main Question or Discussion Point

What is the mechanism for explaining the different effect of repulsion and also attraction due to the exchange of virtual photons in the electromagnetic forces?

For example, the electrostatic force between two point charges, for both when they are oppositely charged and like charged?
 

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  • #2
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For example, the electrostatic force between two point charges, for both when they are oppositely charged and like charged?
Could you please be clearer? What exactly do you want to know?
 
  • #3
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First I would read Arnold's Physics FAQ, "Are virtual photons real"? It seems to me that they are merely an artifact of the mathematical model that is used to calculate various interactions. They only appear in the perturbation model of a QFT. I don't think that a purely mechanical description of how they pull or push another electric charge will be very satisfying and since it will be an analogy it will be full of holes.

All IMHO of course.
 
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