How does the EM force transmit charge information?

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1. Nov 14, 2015

Ryan Reed

If photons are the force carrier of the EM force, and they have no charge, how do they give the information between two charged particles? How would a proton know the difference between a electron and positron?

2. Nov 14, 2015

Mentz114

The virtual photons will carry opposite momenta ?

3. Nov 14, 2015

Staff Emeritus
"Force carrier" does not mean that the electric force is transmitted by billiard-ball-like photons bouncing back and forth.

4. Nov 14, 2015

Mentz114

If that is addressed to me then I respectfully admit to already knowing that this is not how the forces are transmitted.

As far as I know the force originates in the interaction term $A^\mu J_\mu$ in the Hamiltonian. The 4-current for a positron is (presumably) different from that of an electron.

Last edited: Nov 14, 2015