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Dead electrons

  1. Dec 6, 2011 #1
    Are elemental particles subject to entropy? Are there dead electrons "no spin".
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2011 #2

    mathman

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    Could you clarify what your first question means?

    There is no such thing as a dead electron. Its spin (1/2) is an intrinsic property and its only change would be direction (1/2 -> -1/2). Electrons in atoms have various energy levels.
     
  4. Dec 6, 2011 #3
    This question is poorly constructed. I think you are asking, "Does an elementary decay?" Yes, elementary particles change into other elementary particles all the time, some more quickly than others. But they must still obey conservation laws as they do so, so an electron could not just loose its spin. Elementary particles are, by definition, elementary. You can not have a red electron or a blue electron or a minty electron, a tired electron, or a dead electron. All photons in the same quantum state are identical. The only way to intrinsically change an electron is to transform it into something else.

    Now, the part of entropy that deals with an increase of disorder is a statistical law that applies large numbers of particles, so it does not directly apply to a single elementary particle.
     
  5. Dec 6, 2011 #4
    It's like asking, "What is the friction between two electrons?" The question does not make sense because friction is a phenomenological description of the average behavior of a large collection of particles. Two electrons will repel each other through the regular Coulombic/electric force, but it looks much different than friction.
     
  6. Dec 6, 2011 #5
    Chrisbaird
    the question was poorly constructed. The question is what force causes the transformation of the electron.
     
  7. Dec 6, 2011 #6
    You can not have a red electron or a blue electron or a minty electron, a tired electron, or a dead electron.http://www.uklv.info/g.php [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  8. Dec 7, 2011 #7

    mathman

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    Electrons get transformed by interactions with other particles (including photons), but not in isolation.
     
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