Electrons and csv of matter

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

I am not sure if this is the right place to post this, so please let me know...?

If electrons pop in and out of existence, how does that relate to the law of the conservation of matter? The electrons can't just disappear. Are the electrons just visiting the other element in the molecule? Like with H2O is the electron not popping in and out of existence but not always with the hydrogen atom because sometimes it is with the oxygen atom?

Thank you!
OC
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
35,546
4,317
Please read this FAQ entry in the General Physics FAQ subforum:

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=511176 [Broken]

Zz.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #3
1,948
200
Yes, electrons and positrons can just appear and disappear. There is no such thing as conservation of matter. What you do have is conservation of energy and electric charge but both of these are conserved by the virtual electron-positron pair production you're talking about.
 
  • #4
Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
20,746
4,457
I'm not sure saying the electron "pops in and out of existence" is quite accurate. It will certainly be in a different place whenever you measure it, but I would think it exists even when it isn't being observed.
 
  • #5
1,948
200
Drakkith, they are talking about virtual electrons that do indeed pop out of nowhere (along with a positron).
 
  • #6
Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
20,746
4,457
Drakkith, they are talking about virtual electrons that do indeed pop out of nowhere (along with a positron).
Ah, that would make sense now, wouldn't it?
 

Related Threads on Electrons and csv of matter

Replies
2
Views
4K
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
5K
Replies
7
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
458
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
2K
Top