# Virtual Particles: How can they be responsible for attractive forces?

I don't really understand quantum physics, but I would really like to know because I'm going to study it next year. Can someone explain it to me in laymens terms, thanks.

naima
Gold Member
Look http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Quantum/virtual_particles.html" [Broken]

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I don't really understand quantum physics, but I would really like to know because I'm going to study it next year. Can someone explain it to me in laymens terms, thanks.

It's easy. In QM instead of Newton equations for ri(t) you write a wave (Schroedinger) equation for Ψ(ri,t).

Wave equations have proper frequencies (and thus, proper solutions). QM classifies them and calculates possible transitions from one solution to another.

In addition, there may be superpositions of proper solutions in which no certain frequency exists but everything evolves.

No virtual particles exist. In fact, it is the usual Coulomb and magnetic forces that attract/repell (or better, make interact) de Broglie waves in QM.

EDIT:
They say virtual particles are propagators, so they are not particles but solutions of equations with singular sources (Green's functions). The simplest such an equation is ∆φ(r) = δ(r). Its solution is just a Coulomb potential 1/r. So, instead of speaking of "virtual particles" I speak of electrostatic and magnetic interactions of charges and currents involved.

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Fredrik
Staff Emeritus