Can Particle-Antiparticle Pairs Form Stable Unions?

  • Thread starter ffleming7
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In summary, particles and antiparticles can form pairs that only last for a short period of time due to their ability to annihilate each other. This is due to the fact that they have different "colors" or categories, such as up and down quarks, which allows them to coexist without breaking the Pauli exclusion principle. The reason why up-antiup pairs do not cancel out is because they are not exactly a matter-antimatter pair. However, in rare cases, a stable union between matter and antimatter may be possible, but the mathematics behind it is currently unknown.
  • #1
ffleming7
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I'm not sure what forum to put this is in. But I was wondering, how can there be particle-antiparticle pairs if antiparticles and particles annihilate one another if they come into contact? Do particle-antiparticle pairs only last for a very short period of time?
 
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  • #2
I assume you're talking about mesons (e.g. up-antiup quark pairs). If I'm not mistaken it's because the quarks have different colour. Quarks can be blue, red or green as well as be up or down (this isn't actual colour, just another category to distinguish quarks from each other). It's the same reason you can have a 2 up, 1 down quark combo in a proton and 2 down, 1 up in a neutron which initially looks like it breaks the Pauli exclusion principle (no two particles in a system can possesses an identical set of quantum numbers) but if you assign colour to the quarks the Pauli exclusion principle is maintained (the accepted arrangement is one blue, red and green quark per nucleon). The reason the up-antiup pair don't cancel out is because the are not exactly a matter-antimatter pair.

Steve
 
  • #4
In theory, a matter Helium-3 isotope [P-N-P] could form stable union with an antimatter deuteron [P^-N^], where ^ represents antimatter nucleon, but the mathematics of such a union is unknown.
 

Related to Can Particle-Antiparticle Pairs Form Stable Unions?

1. What are particle-antiparticle pairs?

Particle-antiparticle pairs are two particles with the same mass and opposite charges that are created simultaneously from the same energy source. For every known particle, there is a corresponding antiparticle.

2. How are particle-antiparticle pairs created?

Particle-antiparticle pairs can be created through various processes, such as pair production, where a high-energy photon creates an electron-positron pair, or through collisions between particles at high energies.

3. What is the significance of particle-antiparticle pairs?

The existence of particle-antiparticle pairs helps to explain the conservation of energy and charge in the universe. When a particle and its corresponding antiparticle meet, they annihilate each other, releasing energy in the form of photons.

4. Can particle-antiparticle pairs be observed?

Particle-antiparticle pairs can be indirectly observed through their effects on other particles, such as in the creation of new particles or in high-energy collisions. However, directly observing them is difficult due to their short lifetimes.

5. How do particle-antiparticle pairs relate to antimatter?

Antimatter is composed of antiparticles, including antiprotons, antineutrons, and positrons, which are the antiparticles of protons, neutrons, and electrons respectively. Particle-antiparticle pairs are created when matter and antimatter come into contact and annihilate each other.

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