nLab
virtual particle

Context

Physics

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Surveys, textbooks and lecture notes

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Measure and probability theory

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Theorems

Contents

Idea

In perturbative quantum field theory, it is suggestive to think of the edges in the Feynman diagrams as worldlines of “virtual particles” and of the vertices as the points where they collide and transmute. (Care must be exercised not to confuse this with concepts of real particles.)

This intuition is made precise by the worldline formalism of perturbative quantum field theory (Strassler 92). This is the perspective on perturbative QFT which directly relates perturbative QFT to perturbative string theory (Schmidt-Schubert 94). In fact the worldline formalism for perturbative QFT was originally found by taking thre point-particle limit of string scattering amplitudes (Bern-Kosower 91, Bern-Kosower 92).

References

See also

Last revised on January 16, 2018 at 15:26:14. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.