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Angular momentum in particle interaction 
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#1
Nov513, 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. 


#2
Nov513, 07:32 AM

Mentor
P: 11,917




#3
Nov513, 07:43 AM

P: 373

If electron A has an acceleration perpendicular to the line AB then electron B will receive some momentum perpendicular to AB opposite A's acceleration. Therefore the total momentum, ##\vec{p}##, transferred to B will not be parallel to AB. 


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