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Virtual particle

Virtual particles can emerge when the energy becomes large enough to create a system of a particle and an antiparticle.

 


Explanation

The time-energy relation explains that the amount of energy in a system is all the more uncertain the smaller the time scale on which the system varies, because

where

    ∆E Energy
    ∆t Time
    ℏ Reduced Planck constant

This form of the uncertainty principle shows that energy can be 'borrowed', which then gives rise to the creation of virtual particles. Feynman diagrams provide a simple visual representation of the interaction of these particles.

 


Additional information

The British quantum physicist Paul Dirac deduced the existence of antiparticles in 1928.

 


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