Virtual particle

  • Thread starter touqra
  • Start date
284
0
Suppose there's an interaction AB -> CD, that goes via a virtual W boson, my question is, will the virtual boson leaves a track in the detector even though it's virtual ?
 

neu

220
1
No is the short answer to your question.

Think about what virtual means. A particle is virtual i.e "off mass shell" (violating energy conservation) for a time permitted by the uncertainty principle. Hence by definition it's impossible to "resolve" a virtual particle. Hence the name virtual.
 

malawi_glenn

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
4,782
22
if it was detected, then it would not be an interaction ab-cd since the W have to interact with the matter in the detector.
 
284
0
No is the short answer to your question.

Think about what virtual means. A particle is virtual i.e "off mass shell" (violating energy conservation) for a time permitted by the uncertainty principle. Hence by definition it's impossible to "resolve" a virtual particle. Hence the name virtual.
Just to clear up some doubts... If it's a virtual particle produced in the s-channel say, the whole AB->CD interaction will be happening at one contact point, ie, four tracks (due to ABCD), unlike say AB->2 photons, and this photon flies off some distance before it interacts with the detector to give electron-positron pair, which in this case, there is two contact point, first ABphoton and the other point, photon-electron-positron.
Sorry for my bad English.
If it was a real particle on s-channel, then, the interaction point will differ in principle from the decay point, unless the detector has insufficient resolution power.
 

Related Threads for: Virtual particle

Replies
12
Views
4K
  • Posted
Replies
10
Views
3K
  • Posted
Replies
5
Views
3K
  • Posted
Replies
3
Views
3K
  • Posted
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Posted
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Posted
Replies
14
Views
4K
  • Posted
Replies
7
Views
2K

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top