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How about that electron?

  1. May 3, 2004 #1

    Les Sleeth

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    I am not sure I'm posting this in the correct area but . . .

    Recently someone, Tom I think, mentioned that electrons are not known to decay, be destructible, etc., and I have been wondering about that. The other two of the electron's main atomic partners, the proton and neutron, are either predicted to decay (by one theory at least) or are known to decay, respectively.

    Are there any generally accepted explanations for the stability of the electron?
     
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  3. May 3, 2004 #2

    ahrkron

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    The electron seems to be a fundamental particle. In a sense, there is no need for an explanation of its stability, since it is one of the basic blocks of the standard model.

    From a different viewpoint, the electron is the lightest lepton, and hence there is no way for it to decay into someting else (since, apparently, nature conserves [something similar to] the number of leptons).
     
  4. May 4, 2004 #3

    selfAdjoint

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    The proton and neutron are not considered to be elementary, but are regarded as bound systems of three quarks, held together by exchanging gluons. Since everybody seems to want to enlarge the standard model one way or another, I don't think you will see much assertion that quarks are really fundamental particles.
     
  5. May 4, 2004 #4

    Les Sleeth

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    Thanks. I was thinking along those lines.

    What about what happens when the electron meets a positron? According to one Russian scientist the "'annihilation' of an electron and positron with formation of two photons more correct to esteem as an exchange reaction a neutrino as a result of which one their total remains invariable."

    http://www.new-physics.narod.ru/pagesEng/27e.htm

    It's hard for me to understand his broken english, but it seem he's saying photons and a neutrino result. If I understand him, might one say in that particle-antiparticle meeting an electron disintegrates into light?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2004
  6. May 4, 2004 #5

    Nereid

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    the standard model: particle + its antiparticle = photon(s).

    The resulting photons may the create particle-antiparticle pairs (if they have enough energy) but they need something to collide with first.

    (the above is not well expressed)

    As selfAdjoint said, since there's a widespread feeling that the Standard Model is not enough, all kinds of extensions have been theorised. To date however, no good observational/experimental data to suggest which extension or new theory is on the right track. Indeed, precious few observations etc - and they quite indirect - inconsistent with the SM at all!

    Frustrating isn't it?!
     
  7. May 4, 2004 #6

    Les Sleeth

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    Something else I wonder about is where are all the electrons that have been disassociated from hydrogen in stellar activity? Is that the "sea of electrons" Dirac referred to? I think I read somewhere that some scientists think electron-positron interactions are fueling space expansion.

    I guess I am trying to figure out if space is filling up with electrons or are substantial numbers of them disappearing.
     
  8. May 4, 2004 #7

    Nereid

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    Have you heard of 'plasma' Les? You can think of it a gas (cf a liquid or solid), but the particles which comprise the plasma are charged (cf neutral atoms or molecules as in a normal gas). Some plasmas are 'fully ionised' - no neutral particles; others are 'weakly ionised' - only a small proportion of particles are charged. In many ways, plasmas behave like gases (e.g. pressure rises as temperature rises), in others, very different (e.g. in a magnetic field). In bulk, plasmas are neutral, or nearly so - crudely, the number of positively charged particles = number of negatively charged ones (in detail it isn't this simple).

    Overwhelmingly, ordinary matter in the universe is in the form of plasma, not solid, liquid or gas - from the rarified IGM ('inter-galactic medium'; even the ICM - cluster) to the cores of the most massive 'normal' stars ('degenerate matter', as in white dwarfs and neutron stars, is not 'normal').

    So where do all the electrons go? Nowhere; they're right there in the plasma, along with the ionised hydrogen, helium, ... and uranium atoms.
     
  9. May 4, 2004 #8

    Les Sleeth

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    I knew about the aurora borealis, but I've not studied plasmas much. I find the subject very interesting, thanks a lot. I found a site that looks good -- http://www.plasmas.org/ -- and I'll read up.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2004
  10. May 8, 2004 #9
    Humm, an electron? had thought that 'that' was a "Packet of EMF", (anyone know better? something Else????) works better with the 'atomic electron cloud' uhmmm, idea?

    Those old scenes of something like a moon, circling a planet, well, anologous to the "Pin Point Charge" scalar......problem? Huh? What?

    Sort of like the stuff that is hitting the back of your computer screen, letting you read this.....C/Ya.*
     
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