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Force carriers

  1. Sep 30, 2006 #1


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    Gold Member

    How do force particles (photons, gluons..) exert force? I once read that it worked sort of the the way the throwing a ball at someone would move both of you - you'd get pushed back cause of the 3rd law and he'd fly forward cause of momentum conservation. but how do the force particles attract each other?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2006 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    See item #2 in Some Frequently Asked Questions About Virtual Particles.

    Bottom line: quantum objects don't behave like classical objects, and it's dangerous to use classical analogies to explain quantum phenomena. They always break down, usually sooner rather than later.
  4. Oct 3, 2006 #3
    It's a bit tricky since basically they CARRY the forces themselves. Under most circumstances, they are virtual particles. The exchange of the particles will actually result in the forces being carried.

    Then there is the matter of virtual particles changing into real particles when you move certain objects in a certain way but that is another matter....
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