Feynman QED, Permanent Magnets, and Virtual Photons

  • #1
I'm not making any statements here, only asking questions.

When I take two permanent magnets and I feel the repulsive force between them, Feynman QED says it is the momentum of the virtual photons "pushing" the magnets apart?

Experiments have been done, forcing some of these virtual photons to become "visible" photons?

Am I roughly correct? Thanks, John
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  • #2
Hi John! :smile:

No, the virtual particles (not only photons, but also electrons and positrons, and not only "pushing" but also "pulling") in Feynman QED are just maths, they have nothing to do with reality.

For a full discussion, see the thread https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=302923" :wink:
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  • #3
Much appreciated, Thanks!

What is Feynman QED?

Feynman QED, also known as Quantum Electrodynamics, is a theory that explains the behavior of light and matter at a subatomic level. It describes how particles interact with each other through the exchange of virtual particles called photons.

How do permanent magnets work?

Permanent magnets work by aligning the magnetic domains within the material. These domains are tiny regions in which the magnetic fields of individual atoms are aligned in the same direction. When these domains align, they create a strong magnetic field that can attract or repel other magnets.

What are virtual photons?

Virtual photons are particles that are not directly observable or detectable but play a crucial role in the interactions between charged particles. They are considered "virtual" because they only exist for a very short amount of time and cannot be directly measured.

How do virtual photons contribute to the behavior of permanent magnets?

In permanent magnets, virtual photons are exchanged between the aligned magnetic domains, causing them to attract or repel each other. This exchange of virtual photons is what creates the strong magnetic field of a permanent magnet.

Why is understanding QED and virtual photons important?

Understanding QED and virtual photons is important because it helps us explain and predict the behavior of particles at a subatomic level. This knowledge has practical applications in fields such as quantum computing and particle accelerator technology. It also helps us better understand the fundamental laws of nature and the universe.

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