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Angular momentum in particle interaction

by johne1618
Tags: angular, interaction, momentum, particle
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johne1618
#1
Nov5-13, 07:25 AM
P: 373
Imagine that two electrons interact by exchanging a virtual photon.

Electron A gains momentum ##-\vec{p}## and electron B gains momentum ##\vec{p}##.

If the two momentum vectors are not collinear then there will be extra angular momentum left over from the interaction.

In a simple Coulomb interaction the momenta of A and B are collinear but I would have thought that in a general interaction they would not be. In that case how would angular momentum be conserved?

PS As the photon is virtual there isn't anything left in the EM field.
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mfb
#2
Nov5-13, 07:32 AM
Mentor
P: 11,576
Quote Quote by johne1618 View Post
In a simple Coulomb interaction the momenta of A and B are collinear but I would have thought that in a general interaction they would not be.
Why do you think that?
johne1618
#3
Nov5-13, 07:43 AM
P: 373
Quote Quote by mfb View Post
Why do you think that?
I can only think in classical terms using the Lienard-Wiechert theory.

If electron A has an acceleration perpendicular to the line A-B then electron B will receive some momentum perpendicular to A-B opposite A's acceleration.

Therefore the total momentum, ##\vec{p}##, transferred to B will not be parallel to A-B.


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