Talk:Static forces and virtual-particle exchange

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Here is a section which was completely wrong

Inverse square law[edit]

The virtual-particle picture can be used to provide a heuristic explanation of the inverse square law for gravitational and electrostatic forces. If we imagine that a body emits a virtual particle and that virtual particle is absorbed by another body a distance r away, then the uncertainty principle states that

where is the time it takes the virtual particle to travel between bodies, and is the energy of the virtual particle. If we imagine that is a kind of potential energy and we assume the virtual particle travels at the speed of light, then



The force is the gradient of the potential energy, therefore


which yields the inverse square law seen in both electrostatic and gravitational forces.

Why it's wrong[edit]

Virtual particles don't have to travel at the speed of light. If you emit a virtual photon, the virtual state is spread out over all space, and can be absorbed instantaneously. In Feynman perturbation theory, the propagator is nonlocal, and it is the nonlocal part tht gives exchange, not the speed-of-light part.

The other mistake is that this derivation assumes that all virtual particle that are emitted are absorbed, without geometrical dilution. This is also wrong. But the two mistakes cancel each other out. This argument is ridiculous, but it should be left here to prevent other people from putting it in.

Direction of unit vectors[edit]

I wouldn't like to look too nit-picker, but at the beginning of the subject, describing gravitation and electromagnetic force I would have preferred "...having the direction either from M to m or vice-versa..." and "... having the direction from Q to q, or vice-versa...".paolo de magistris 16:03, 21 February 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Demaag (talkcontribs)

To mediate[edit]

Please, give an explanation (as in a dictionary) of the verb "to mediate". In absence of such explanation, the subject article is void of any meaning.paolo de magistris 14:32, 20 June 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Demaag (talkcontribs)

Selected examples[edit]

I could follow this section only in parts, although having graduated in Physics. I would guess this means that less than 1/1000 of the general population have any chance to understand it. (Rough estimate of fraction of physics graduates in US population. Assuming not everyone who has at one point in his life learned basic quantum mechanics can understand it, the fraction might be much lower.) Imho this makes it somewhat unsuitable for general wikipedia and it would be better turned into a chapter in a wikibook on quantum mechanics (or something like that), maybe with some more intermediary steps added. (talk) 17:25, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Just bosons?[edit]

The first paragraph states that static forces are mediated by bosons; is that necessarily the case? I'm thinking specifically when it was thought that beta decay could be responsible for the nuclear force (exchange of electrons and/or neutrinos -- the "Fermi field theory").

If it is just bosons, an explanation in the article of why that must be the case would be enlightening (maybe with something on the "even spin implies always-attractive forces" rule as well).

2601:647:4501:2510:C526:7B58:690B:2D21 (talk) 06:43, 4 September 2016 (UTC)