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Photon and electrostatics

  1. Feb 4, 2014 #1

    Saw

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    Since the four forces are a "closed list", one of them should be present in each interaction and, according to Standard model, a boson or mediating particle should be doing the job of the relevant force. For instance, the photon is the mediating particle of electromagnetic force. In turn, electrostatics seems to fall within the domain of electromagnetic force and hence the photon should be doing all jobs in this area.

    But is it really so? If I have an electron and 1 meter away a proton, they attract each other. Does that mean that a photon is travelling between the two particles? I would tend to think "no", but then I don't know what to do with the statement of the first paragraph.
     
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  3. Feb 4, 2014 #2

    Drakkith

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    It means that the force is being mediated by virtual photons. However, the concept of virtual particles is a complicated one. I suggest using the search function to look for threads on virtual particles.
     
  4. Feb 5, 2014 #3

    Saw

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    Thank you. Just a quick question: and when an AC in a conductor induces another AC in another conductor (mutual inductance as per Faraday's law), do also virtual photons mediate the force? If so, why not real photons?
     
  5. Feb 5, 2014 #4

    Drakkith

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    As far as I know, yes, the near field is mediated by virtual photons.
     
  6. May 10, 2014 #5
    Don't forget that magnetism is also a "force" to be reckoned with in terms of photon exchange in electromagnetism. EM and the weak nuclear forces have been "unified", which is to say, the W and Z bosons also have something to do with the forces that hold atoms together.

    It has been suggested by many that the Higgs boson is itself the carrier of a new fundamental force. Before it was discovered, the foundation of the 'electroweak' force was certainly this particle. But the Higgs mechanism imparts at least inertial mass to electrons, positrons, quarks, antiquarks, W and Z bosons. Prior to its discovery, there was no such force. Particle physicists are somehow more apt to identify gravity with gravitons, than they are to admit that the Higgs boson is something like an 'inert on'. Sorry, for some reason, I can't even spell it the way I wanted to here.
     
  7. Nov 24, 2014 #6

    Saw

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    I saw the answer a little late but it is very interesting. You are touching the other questions I had in mind in this field:

    So is magnetism also mediated by a virtual photon?

    Yes, I read that actually they have a common origin: they used to be the same at an earlier stage of the universe, when temperature was very high, right? But they became different things thereafter, the W and Z bosons mediating radioactive decay and the photon mediating EM force... which look like very different phenomena, however... Well, after all we have common ancestors with the porcupine...

    So do you just mean that because photons and W and Z used to be the same "in the past", the latter have something to do with what the former do...? Or rather that W and Z are somehow also contributing in fact to the atom's cohesion, ie that they are also actually doing something to that effect?

    This makes sense to me. Gravity is caused by different forms of energy, which build up the object's mass. For example: the gluon field (strong force) that binds the quarks together contributes to the proton's mass and hence to how strongly the object is attracted/attracts, doesn't it? And if the object is hot, having more kinetic energy, it is more attractive/is attracted more, isn't it? Likewise the intrinsic mass of the electron or of the quarks composing the proton, as given by the Higgs, also contributes to the atom's attractiveness/attractibility, correct? These different phenomena are conceptually unified under the gravitation umbrella and they are said to trigger mediating gravitons. So it looks only logical that that the same energy, when seen as resistance to attraction or inertia, would be unified under the concept of a new "force", called inertia, triggering the mediating particle that you were coining, the "inerton".

    One could object that this looks like complication instead of simplification. After all, it is the same force, doing two things at the same time: attracting and resisting. But this resistance is also present when the active side is caused by a different force, eg when two objects are electromagnetically attracted... I am getting a little dizzy by now.
     
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