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Origin of electric charge

  1. Dec 19, 2011 #1
    I have to say alot of the physics discussd in this section is a little beyond me but that does not stop me thinking.

    Given the search for the Higgs Boson which allows mass to exist it has occured to me what is the origin of the electric charge. Surely as mass is property with an origin what is there to explain the origins of charge? I have not been able to find much as of yet hense the question.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 19, 2011 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Charged virtual particles of course. There are lots of them. But the coulomb force is mediated by photons.

    If you are wondering where the charges virtual particles get their charge from, then you should also wonder where the Higgs boson get's its mass. It is difficult to use plain language to describe the concepts here without ending up with a circular argument.

    Here's another popular try:
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  4. Dec 20, 2011 #3
    There is no answer then, which is what I thought. I just wondered if there was some sort of theory to try to explain this that I was unaware of.

    Circular arguements are pointless anyway.
  5. Dec 20, 2011 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    There are a bunch of them ... iirc: there's one that charge is a result of a dimension that is curled up very tight for example. Nothing has stuck so far - whereas the Higgs theory has stuck for mass... so far.
  6. Dec 20, 2011 #5
    I remember that now. It that something to do with gravity in a fifth dimension behaving like EM. I cannot remember the theory now it had some K's in it.
  7. Dec 20, 2011 #6
    kaluza klein.
  8. Dec 20, 2011 #7
    if you could make an instrument that would be able to observe a photons interactions, you would potentially be able to answer that question, maybe with a neutrino gun and some electrons?
  9. Dec 20, 2011 #8

    Simon Bridge

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    Most of them are like that - what we are modelling as "charge" is an emergent behavior.
    Also - where does color-charge come from?

    It seems to bother people that "I don't know" is a valid answer in Science.

    I suspect that advancing any particular theory about the origin of charge, without peer-reviewed supporting documentation, would be against the rules.
  10. Dec 21, 2011 #9
    i wasn't planning on any breakthroughs but it isn't outside of our capabilities. we stumbled upon the atoms and quarks by investigations, and will one day stumble upon the origins of charge one way or another, unless war or natural disasters will take us, which it just looks like they will
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