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Why are magnetic and electric fields not considered the same?

  1. Aug 11, 2014 #1
    Why are magnetic fields and electric fields still considered different phenomena? Doesn't relativity and QFT explain that they are the same thing. A photon is a photon, isn't it? I mean, what is happening when two magnets repel? They exchange photons. What happens when two electrons repel? They exchange photons.

    (A genuine question, I'm not trying to administer any insight)
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 11, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Often the link between electric and magnetic fields is not relevant.

    In the same way, it is possible to unify the electromagnetic and the weak interaction - but we still consider beta-decays and light as two different phenomena, because high-energy physics is the only field where the connection between the two is relevant.
  4. Aug 11, 2014 #3


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    a static magnetic field isn't comprised of photons

  5. Aug 12, 2014 #4
    What is the gauge boson for a static magnetic field?
  6. Aug 13, 2014 #5


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    FYI, the posts above me were split from another thread and moved into this one.
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