Register to reply

Antimatter-Matter Annihilation (i.e. antiproton w/ positron)

Share this thread:
WillietheKid
#1
Jun23-14, 11:37 PM
P: 2
I know that a particle's exact anti-counterpart (i.e. an electron and positron) will annihilate into pure energy. But my question is do differing particles and antiparticles (such as an antiproton and positron) annihilate each other, and if so how much so, because I doubt it too would result in pure energy. I have seen this question pop up a couple times but still have not found any sufficent answer.
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
Step lightly: All-optical transistor triggered by single photon promises advances in quantum applications
The unifying framework of symmetry reveals properties of a broad range of physical systems
What time is it in the universe?
SteamKing
#2
Jun24-14, 01:43 AM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 6,534
Would you expect an electron and a proton to 'annihilate' each other?

An anti-proton and a positron are both antimatter. Just like an electron could be captured by a proton to form a hydrogen atom, a positron could be captured by an anti-proton to form an atom of anti-hydrogen:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antihydrogen

Significant production of anti-hydrogen is hampered by the fact that it is easy for this material to interact with matter and annihilate itself before significant quantities can be accumulated.
Bill_K
#3
Jun24-14, 04:39 AM
Sci Advisor
Thanks
Bill_K's Avatar
P: 4,160
Quote Quote by WillietheKid View Post
I know that a particle's exact anti-counterpart (i.e. an electron and positron) will annihilate into pure energy.
There is no such thing as "pure energy". Energy is a property that particles have. When a particle and its antiparticle annihilate, they turn into other particles, usually photons. The rest mass of the original particles becomes the energy carried by the photons.

ChrisVer
#4
Jun24-14, 04:45 AM
P: 906
Antimatter-Matter Annihilation (i.e. antiproton w/ positron)

1. If the particles+antiparticles are fundamental then No, there's no reason for them to annihilate... it would in general violate some symmetries.
2. If they are not fundamental but composite, then yes, why not? You just need to give them enough energy so that the constituents would see each other... for example take:
neutron+antiproton...
in general there wouldn't be a reason for them to annihilate.
in quark level though, they have same pairs of quark-antiquark:
[itex] udd + \bar{u}\bar{u}\bar{d} [/itex]
mfb
#5
Jun24-14, 12:34 PM
Mentor
P: 11,906
Neutron+antiproton has to generate at least one charged particle, most likely a (negatively) charged pion, to conserve the total charge.

In general, annihilations of baryons (like neutron and proton) with antibaryons produce multiple pions and not just photons. Mixing things like electrons (matter) with antibaryons won't lead to annihilation, as there is no process that satisfies all conservation laws (here for example: the baryon number).
snorkack
#6
Jun25-14, 03:31 AM
P: 386
Quote Quote by mfb View Post
In general, annihilations of baryons (like neutron and proton) with antibaryons produce multiple pions and not just photons. Mixing things like electrons (matter) with antibaryons won't lead to annihilation, as there is no process that satisfies all conservation laws (here for example: the baryon number).
Or maybe it just won´t be annihilation?

Consider the opposite - mixing positrons (antimatter) with baryons.

A process like
n+e+->p+nu~e
satisfies all conservation laws. But would you call it annihilation?

Also, does it mean that electron and positive muon cannot annihilate because it would violate the conservation of electron and muon charges? Or does it? Is the process
e+μ+->nue+nu~μ
possible? And is it annihilation?
mfb
#7
Jun25-14, 10:01 AM
Mentor
P: 11,906
But would you call it annihilation?
No.

Also, does it mean that electron and positive muon cannot annihilate because it would violate the conservation of electron and muon charges? Or does it? Is the process
e+μ+->nue+nu~μ
possible? And is it annihilation?
It is possible, but extremely unlikely. See this thread for a discussion. Even in a bound state (muonium), the branching fraction is less than 1 in a billion. There is a planned experiment to search for this decay: presentation. The experimental signature would just be vanishing muonium.
snorkack
#8
Jun26-14, 05:43 AM
P: 386
Effectively, a positive muon like many nuclei of nucleons has a choice between positron emission and electron capture. Correct?

Can the branching ratios and half lives for positron emission and electron capture be predicted?
mfb
#9
Jun26-14, 06:12 PM
Mentor
P: 11,906
Effectively, a positive muon like many nuclei of nucleons has a choice between positron emission and electron capture. Correct?
It has some similarity, yes.
Can the branching ratios and half lives for positron emission and electron capture be predicted?
See the second link in my previous post. I'm not sure where the deviations between the predictions come from, but they all agree that the "electron capture" process is extremely rare.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Annihilation of Matter/Antimatter High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics 9
Positron-electron annihilation in matter High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics 5
Matter-antimatter annihilation High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics 8
Annihilation - matter/antimatter Quantum Physics 6
Matter-antimatter annihilation Quantum Physics 5