Virtual particles stolen from the universe?

In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of virtual particles appearing and annihilating all over the universe. It also delves into the idea that if a pair of virtual particles is created on the event horizon of a black hole, one particle can be absorbed by the black hole while the other goes free, requiring the black hole to give off some energy. The conversation then explores the scenario of two small black holes approaching each other and merging, with a virtual particle pair being created and each particle being absorbed by a different black hole. The question is raised if this process robs the universe of two particles, to which it is explained that the virtual pair consists of one particle with negative energy that is absorbed by the black hole, causing it to lose mass
  • #1
3
0
Hey!
Virtual particles appear and annihilate all over the universe.
If a pair is created just on a black hole event horizon, the hole can take one particle and the other goes free - the hole has to give some energy in order for this to be real. Hawking, no?

But - what if two small black holes are approaching each other at some angle that they will revolve a few times before merging into one, and a virtual particle pair is created so that the particles fly into one hole each? I suppose that means that they radiate into each other, but hasn't the universe been robbed of two particles?

/M
 
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  • #2
You can't count virtual particles.

At the beginning of your problem, you have two black holes and no free particles. Afterwards you have two black holes and no free particles. What's the problem?
 
  • #3
Larger mass?

Two black holes with larger mass than before the virtual particles...
 
  • #4
Maniax said:
Two black holes with larger mass than before the virtual particles...
In the virtual pair, one "particle" carries negative energy, and the BH "absorbing it" loses mass.
The other "real" particle carries positive energy, we can physically talk about this one, it is observable rigourously, and the other BH gains mass by absorbing it.

You have two BHs in a box : they emit and absorb each other's radiations, exchanging mass if you will. This is a very interesting situation.
But no paradox I see :smile:
 
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1. What are virtual particles?

Virtual particles are particles that spontaneously come into existence for a very short period of time as a result of the uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics. They are considered "virtual" because they cannot be directly observed or measured.

2. How are virtual particles "stolen" from the universe?

In the context of physics, the idea of "stealing" virtual particles from the universe refers to the process of creating and manipulating these particles in a controlled environment, such as in particle accelerators or in theoretical calculations. This is done in order to study their behavior and properties.

3. Are virtual particles real particles?

While virtual particles are not considered "real" in the traditional sense, they do have measurable effects on the behavior of other particles. They are an important concept in quantum field theory, which describes the behavior of subatomic particles.

4. Can virtual particles be observed?

No, virtual particles cannot be directly observed or measured. However, their effects can be observed through their interactions with other particles, such as in the creation of particle-antiparticle pairs or in the scattering of particles in experiments.

5. What is the significance of studying virtual particles?

Studying virtual particles allows us to better understand the fundamental nature of the universe and the behavior of subatomic particles. It also has practical applications in fields such as quantum computing and particle physics research.

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