Are Virtual Particles A New Layer of Reality?
Viewers like you help make PBS (Thank you 😃) . Support your local PBS Member Station here: https://to.pbs.org/DonateSPACE
Let me tell you a story about virtual particles. It may or may not be true.
You can further support us on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/pbsspacetime
Get your own Space Time t-shirt at http://bit.ly/1QlzoBi
Tweet at us! @pbsspacetime
Email us! pbsspacetime [at] gmail [dot] com
Comment on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/pbsspacetime
Help translate our videos!
Will We Ever Find Alien Life?
Hosted by Matt O'Dowd
Written by Graeme Gossell and Matt O'Dowd
Graphics by Luke Maroldi
Assistant Editing and Sound Design by Mike Petrow
Made by Kornhaber Brown (www.kornhaberbrown.com)
Sometimes our mathematical hacks point to strange new aspects of reality. For example Max Planck used a quantization trick to figure out the spectrum of light emitted by hot objects. The quantization part of his math trick was meant to disappear in the final form of equation, but it remained - it proved fundamental. That math hack turned out to represent the very real quantum nature of the photon. This insight let to the discovery of all quantum physics. A more recent mathematical hack is the virtual particle. They started out as a trick to make impossible calculations in quantum field theory possible. Possible, at least, for the sort of people who can do quantum field theory. So will virtual particles also prove to represent a new underlying aspect of reality? We’re going to go pretty deep in this one - but it will bring us to a better understanding of the quantum nature of reality, so stick with me.
Special thanks to our Patreon Big Bang, Quasar and Hypernova Supporters:
Thanks to our Patreon Gamma Ray Burst Supporters: