Electron Undergoing Annihilation

In summary, a 5 MeV electron undergoes annihilation with a positron at rest, resulting in the formation of two photons. The energy of each photon should add up to 5 MeV, taking into account the rest energy of the positron. Momentum and energy must be conserved in this process.
  • #1
Jacob87411
171
1
A 5MeV electron undergoes annihilation with a positron that is at rest, producing two photons. One of the photons travels in the direction of the incident electron. Calculate the energy of each photon.

So the 5 MeV electron undergoes annihilation with a positron and from that 2 separate photons are formed. The energy of both photons should equal back up to the 5 MeV correct? Also one of the photons travels back the same way the electron came but I am not clear on how to use that piece of info.
 
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  • #2
Jacob87411 said:
So the 5 MeV electron undergoes annihilation with a positron and from that 2 separate photons are formed. The energy of both photons should equal back up to the 5 MeV correct?

Don't forget to include the rest energy of the stationary particle. Is 5 MeV is the total energy or kinetic energy of the other one?


Also one of the photons travels back the same way the electron came but I am not clear on how to use that piece of info.

You need to conserve both momentum (a vector) and energy (a scalar).
 
  • #3
Ah, right..momentum is conserved. So the particles will be a sum of the 5MeV and the rest energy of that positron.
 

Related to Electron Undergoing Annihilation

1. What is electron annihilation?

Electron annihilation is a process in which an electron collides with its antiparticle, a positron, and they both disappear, releasing energy in the form of gamma rays.

2. What is the significance of electron annihilation?

Electron annihilation is significant because it is one of the fundamental processes that governs the behavior of matter at the subatomic level. It also has important applications in fields such as nuclear physics and medical imaging.

3. How is electron annihilation different from electron-positron annihilation?

Electron annihilation specifically refers to the annihilation of an electron and a positron, while electron-positron annihilation is a more general term that can refer to the annihilation of any electron-positron pair, including those in atoms and molecules.

4. What happens during electron annihilation?

During electron annihilation, the electron and positron collide and are converted into pure energy in the form of two gamma rays. This process is governed by the laws of conservation of energy and momentum.

5. Can electron annihilation be observed?

Yes, electron annihilation can be observed indirectly through the detection of the gamma rays produced during the process. It can also be observed directly in high-energy particle collisions, such as those that occur in particle accelerators.

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