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- Thread starter Jim Hasty
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- #2

bhobba

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I am interested specifically in the rate of formation of particle-antiparticle pairs in the empty void of vacuum space according to Quantum Theory?

The issue is complicated by the fact its now thought virtual particles are simply an artefact of the perturbation formalism used in QFT - they don't really exist.

Its a bit hard to calculate what you are asking for things that are mathematical artefacts.

Thanks

Bill

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Its a bit hard to calculate what you are asking for things that are mathematical artefacts.

Thanks

Bill

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If they do not exist - then what explains Hawking Radiation or the Casamir Effect ???

- #5

bhobba

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If they do not exist - then what explains Hawking Radiation or the Casamir Effect ???

We don't know at this stage because non-perturbative methods are still in their infancy. We simply know when they are not used virtual particles do not appear.

Check out:

http://www.mat.univie.ac.at/~neum/physfaq/topics/virtual

'The collection of Feynman diagrams without loops describes exactly the scattering of classical fields in a perturbation theoretic treatment; the diagrams with k loops describe quantum corrections of order O(hbar^k). If virtual particles had a meaning, then they would already exist in classical field theory, since tree diagrams have internal lines. But nobody ever claimed that predictions of classical field theories bare caused by virtual particles.'

Thanks

Bill

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jtbell

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If they do not exist - then what explains Hawking Radiation or the Casamir Effect ???

As I understand it, there are ways of calculating both of these that do not involve virtual particles.

- #7

bhobba

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As I understand it, there are ways of calculating both of these that do not involve virtual particles.

That's correct.

Its just they are not as advanced as the pertubative methods and not understood as well since they are done on computer.

Thanks

Bill

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