m.a. wrote:
> 
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Flammarion" <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>
> To: "Everything List" <everything-list@googlegroups.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 11:25 AM
> Subject: Re: Yablo, Quine and Carnap on ontology
> 
> 
>>
>>
>> On 16 Sep, 15:51, "m.a." <marty...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>>>  the ocean of virtual particles which may give
>>> rise to all "real" particles exists somewhere between matter and thought.
>> I see no reason to believe that.
> 
> I would be most interested in your view of vacuum fluctuations of virtual 
> particles.
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_particle


The Wiki article is rather confused and mixes metaphorical and heuristic uses 
of the term 
virtual particle with the actual use in physics calculations.  In Feynman 
diagrams there 
are internal lines representing interactions mediated by virtual particles, 
i.e. particles 
that are not on the mass shell.  But these diagrams are just a way of getting 
all the 
terms in a perturbation expansion.  Single diagrams don't represent something 
that 
happens.  Most physicists (who bother to think about it) don't regard the 
virtual 
particles as 'real' because they are, by construction, not observable.  They 
are just a 
calculational device.

Brent



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