A virtual photon is a photon that exists for a very short period of time and cannot be detected directly. It is only through its indirect effects that its existence can be inferred. Virtual photons are thought to play a role in many different physical phenomena, including the electromagnetic force, the weak force, and the strong force.
- A photon is a particle that carries electromagnetic radiation. It is the fundamental unit of light.
- Virtual photons are created when two charged particles interact with each other. For example, when two electrons interact with each other, they can exchange a virtual photon. This exchange of a virtual photon causes the electrons to repel each other. The electric force that we observe is thought to be due to the exchange of virtual photons between charged particles.
- Whether a virtual photon is real is a matter of debate among physicists. Some believe that virtual photons are simply a mathematical tool used to calculate the interactions of real photons. Other physicists believe that virtual photons are real particles that exist for a very short period of time.