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Electromagnetism its counterpart particle? And can it be used to create a PMF?

  1. Jan 6, 2013 #1
    Usually I like to expand my questions (no matter how dumb they may be) with proof/ history/ statements/ comments, but this time... I'm going to be a little more straight to the point. Btw, if you notice me say something incorrect, please tell me; the things I am stating here are said in the way I understand them currently, as such, it may be possible that I am building information up from a false realization.

    Recently, using atomic colliders (particle accelerators) we've been able to "create" or find the existence of "negative counterpart particles" of certain forces. In reality, we know these counterpart particles are not necessarily negative, but rather have an arrangement of different quarks, opposite that of the arrangement of quarks inside the normal force particles.

    So for electromagnetism, the particle which spawns this force is the electron. And it's counterpart is the positron.

    We also know that electrons spawn a magnetic field when they start to move. We have been able to harness this power and create electromagnets by *basically* taking a HUGE amount of them (through the electricity that comes out of a power source) and having them helically loop around a structure (usually an iron cylinder for the simple magnets, and then through special plates for the more advanced magnets like the bitter magnet; there's also the super-fluid magnets but im to lazy to go through that right now)...

    Here's where I get curious: Theoretically, can the same be done with the positron particle? Can we harness it in such a way as to create a "positron-magnetic-field" (PMF)? Obviously, we'd have to create it in a different way than creating a normal electromagnetic field, since "sticking" these particles in a normal wire would just cause both to neutralize (in this case, the positrons, and the electrons in the wire would neutralize. The other parts of the wire would still be "there").

    But theoretically, if it can be done, what do you see as the possible uses for it? And what exactly would be the qualities/ features of such a positron-magnetic-field? Would it just have opposite poles of a normal electromagnet that is built in a "similar way"? Would it have some weird East and West poles (haha, but who knows, right?)? And would it neutralize when a normal electromagnetic field came into play? Or is there something more?

    Questions, comments, corrections, sources, other, is all welcome. No flaming though; Even idiots (like me) have the right to learn :biggrin:.

    Thanks for reading,
    - Curious_Dude
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2013 #2


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    I think you mean antiparticles. Every particle has a corresponding antiparticle, unless it is its own antiparticle.
    They have an opposite electric charge, and some other quantum numbers are reversed as well. Positive particles (in terms of electric charge) have negative antiparticles, negative particles have positive antiparticles.

    No, electromagnetism is mediated via the photon, which is its own antiparticle.

    You can convert electric energy to other forms of energy, like mechanical energy.

    If you could produce a cable out of antimatter... yes. It would work the same way as a regular cable (made out of matter), just current flow would be in the opposite direction. There is no "matter electromagnetic field" or "antimatter electromagnetic field" - electrons moving to the left give the same fields as positrons moving to the right. To save costs, you can take a matter cable and switch its sides.
  4. Jan 6, 2013 #3
    OK, first a correction. EMF is not created only by electrons, but by every kind of particle that has the fundamental property of "electric charge". There are many kinds of such elementary particles: electron, muon, tau, quarks, W bosons and their antiparticles (what you call "negative counterpart particle") and each of them can produce an electromagnetic field. So, yes, theoretically, positron (also called anti-electron), which is the antiparticle of electron, can create a magnetic field. But there is a practical difficulty which makes positronic current impossible (according to my knowledge) to be produced: since positrons have to move through ordinary matter, which contains only electrons, they would be annihilated instantaneously when they “touched” the electrons.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  5. Jan 8, 2013 #4
    Yes. Sorry, I forgot the name, haha. Thank you for the correction.

    Okay, you're right. I didnt know they had opposite charges as well. Thank you for the correction.

    This is precisely what happens when I (or anyone) build up from a false realization or what people call a "fallacy." Thank you for telling me!

    So you're telling me that their would be virtually no difference between a magnetic field created through means of electrons and one created through means of positrons?

    Wait, what? According to mfb, electromagnetic fields are caused by photons. Am I missing something here? Are photons somehow involved "within" these other particles?

    - Curious_dude
  6. Jan 9, 2013 #5


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    Photons are a way to describe the electromagnetic field itself.

    Electromagnetic fields are caused by charged particles, and cosmic dust listed them.
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