If photons are the carrier particle of electromagnetism, why can’t we see magnetic fields with our eyes?

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If photons are the carrier particle of electromagnetism, why can’t we see magnetic fields with our eyes?

In: Physics

Well, you don’t necessarily see electric fields either. You can see electricity or electric sparks and you can see magnets, but that doesn’t mean you see the electromagnetic field.

Because the parts in our eyes that make us see are only sensitive to photons of a particular wavelength.

I’m not sure I understand where you’re coming from. You don’t see magnetic fields or electric fields or *any* fields. In classical field theory, Photons are excitations in the electromagnetic field. *That’s* what you see.

The photons that mediate the em field are virtual, they aren’t real. Any photon you ‘see’ is an excitation of the underlying field. Virtual particles arise from perturbation theory of QFT. They are just a math trick. A math trick that works very, very well.

You can only see a **super small** part of the electro-magnetic spectrum. You can’t see anything outside that narrow frequency. The static electrostatic or static magnetic fields have a frequency of zero. Zero is no where near the narrow band you can see.

This image will explain it perfectly for you

https://i.imgur.com/jBGEkz4_d.jpg

That simply just how we evolved, we only evolved to see the spectrum. Fish because they live in water, usually freshwater ones evolved to see more sensitivity to the IR spectrum.

Reindeers actually use ultraviolet light that they can see to spot lichens to eat.