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Q & A: Are there massless charged particles?

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Most recent answer: 07/13/2012
Q:
There seem no "massless" "charged" particles in nature. Why? and Do current Physics theory/laws prohibit(or allow?) the existence of such particles? Do "massless" "charged" particles create any inconsistency?
- Anonymous
A:
Think of the electrical field of a charged particle. That has some energy proportional to the integral of the square of the field.  Of course that energy is equivalent to a mass. If it's possible for the net rest energy to still come out zero (I'm not sure whether it is), it would require a coincidental cancellation with some other term.

Gluons, which carry the quantum chromodynamic "color" charge, are in fact massless. If you're interested, we could try to follow up with someone who understands these things better to see why that can be.

Mike W.

(published on 07/13/2012)

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