Electron-positron pair production

• Stanley514
In summary, a static electric field with a strength of 10^16 V/cm2 is capable of creating positron-electron pairs through a process called pair production. This process does not result in any additional energy release. The energy for creating the particles comes from the electric field itself, rather than from "nothingness" or the vacuum. The field must be maintained with energy in order to continue producing the particles. This conversion of energy from strong electric fields to particle masses and weaker fields is well-documented.
Stanley514
Is it true that static electric field 10^16 V/cm2 is capable to create positron-electron pairs? Is this process associated with energy release? If yes, where energy comes from?

You can get pair production from a static electric field.
The process is not associated with any additional energy release.

i.e.
http://arxiv.org/abs/1112.4120

How can one produce a Sauter electric field/potential? The potential looks like a step-function one.

Simon Bridge said:
You can get pair production from a static electric field.
The process is not associated with any additional energy release.

i.e.
http://arxiv.org/abs/1112.4120
But if you need no energy to maintain electrostatic field, in principle, and this field creates positrons and electrons from ''nothingless'' and these positrons have real energy and could annihilate with something releasing gamma rays, wouldn't it mean we received energy from physical vacuum?

Stanley514 said:
But if you need no energy to maintain electrostatic field
For fields so strong that you get pair production you do need energy to maintain them. Otherwise the produced charges will weaken it over time (as electrons go to the positive side and positrons go to the negative side).
It is just a conversion of energy - from strong electric fields to particle masses and weaker fields.

this field creates positrons and electrons from ''nothingness"
... the field does not make positrons and electrons out of "nothingness" nor out of "physical vacuum". As you point out, if it did, then energy would not be conserved.

The energy to make the particle/anti-particle pair comes from the electric field.

1. What is electron-positron pair production?

Electron-positron pair production is a process in which a high-energy photon interacts with a nucleus or an atom, producing an electron and a positron (antiparticle of the electron) pair. This process is a fundamental phenomenon in quantum electrodynamics (QED) and is often used in particle accelerators to study the properties of particles.

2. How does electron-positron pair production occur?

In order for electron-positron pair production to occur, a high-energy photon must have enough energy to produce the mass of an electron and a positron. This photon must also be near a nucleus or an atom, which provides the necessary energy for the production of the particle pair. The photon then interacts with the nucleus or atom, producing the electron and positron pair.

3. What is the significance of electron-positron pair production?

Electron-positron pair production is significant because it provides evidence for the existence of antiparticles and confirms the principles of conservation of energy and momentum. This process also plays a crucial role in understanding the behavior of particles at high energies and is essential in particle physics research.

4. Can electron-positron pair production occur in a vacuum?

No, electron-positron pair production cannot occur in a vacuum. This process requires the presence of a nucleus or an atom to provide the necessary energy for the production of the particle pair. In a vacuum, there are no particles present to interact with the high-energy photon, making the production of electron-positron pairs impossible.

5. What are some applications of electron-positron pair production?

Electron-positron pair production has several applications, including in medical imaging and cancer treatment. In medical imaging, this process is used in positron emission tomography (PET) scans to produce images of the body's internal structures. In cancer treatment, electron-positron pair production is utilized in positron therapy, where high-energy positrons are used to destroy cancer cells.

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