As I understand it photons govern the electromagnetic field. I don't have an intuitive knowledge of what that means. Does anyone have an explanation, link or reference for an intuitive interpretation? So if I rub a latex balloon against my clothes and then put it near my arm, I'll see all my arm hairs raise towards the balloon. Are there supposed to be a countless number of photons 'carrying' the electromagnetic force and traveling between the arm hairs and the balloon? That sounds counter-intuitive. Photons only travel in a straight line, don't they? But those curved magnetic-field lines that form around magnets have photons traveling through them? If you could somehow divert or absorb those photons, the magnet wouldn't work anymore? I know an electron can 'shed' energy by releasing a photon and dropping its orbit, or 'absorb' a photon and go up an orbit. Is that what "photons govern the electromagnetic field" means? It sounds more like a symptom of electromagnetism rather than the governing factor.