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B How to change electron and proton charge

  1. May 4, 2017 #1
    To make antimatter you have to change the charge of proton and electron. So how do you do it
  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2017 #2


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    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    You can't. The anti-matter particles aren't made out of their corresponding matter-particles. Positrons occur naturally, e.g. in the cosmic radiation and certain decay processes, anti-protons are generated by proton-proton collisions in high energy particle accelerators. The protons aren't changed in anti-protons, the kinetic energy produces them. So there is no change of charge going on here.

    Btw., you would probably find a lot of information about these processes on the internet. Wikipedia and the links there might be a good start and will not automatically lead explanations on high level physics.
  4. May 4, 2017 #3
    Ok thank you. I havent explored the problem close enough
  5. May 4, 2017 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Just as an added twist the closer you get to an electron the bigger the charge - it depends on the energy scale. It was this that confused the early pioneers and led to infinities and the invention of renormalisation to tame it. The full understanding came with the work of Wilson he got a Nobel for:

  6. May 5, 2017 #5
    Hello bhobba. This has confused me. Should we take your first sentence literally? As I understand (understood) it, an electron has a charge which I thought was considered to be a fundamental constant. But in your first sentence you seem to be suggesting its charge is not a constant but somehow increases as something gets closer to it. Does that really happen?
    I have looked at the wiki article and have also searched elsewhere but am still none the wiser. Would you be able to clarify the matter please? Thank you.
  7. May 5, 2017 #6


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    There is a constant, and both classically and (with some corners being cut) in non-relativistic quantum mechanics an electron is an idealized point particle with charge equal to that constant; it's the field strength that becomes infinite as you move arbitrarily close to the electron. It gets much messier in quantum electrodynamics, and that's what Bhobba is talking about.

    I'm not sure that a B-level thread is the right place to carry on this discussion; we've already come close to hijacking the original thread.
  8. May 5, 2017 #7
    Thanks for clearing that up Nugatory.:smile:
  9. May 5, 2017 #8


    Staff: Mentor

    Yes - not really appropriate at the B level - I just mentioned it as an aside, bot probably shouldn't have :cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:

    Start a new thread about renormalisation and the Landau pole if interested - but it is A level - although myself and others will try and make it understandable at lower levels if you mention it in the post.

  10. May 5, 2017 #9


    Staff: Mentor

    This is the relevant bit in the above article in case you missed it:

    For example, in quantum electrodynamics (QED), an electron appears to be composed of electrons, positrons (anti-electrons) and photons, as one views it at higher resolution, at very short distances. The electron at such short distances has a slightly different electric charge than does the "dressed electron" seen at large distances, and this change, or "running," in the value of the electric charge is determined by the renormalization group equation.

    But I just posted it for your interest - it doesn't really belong here.

    If anyone wants to chat about it further start a new thread like I said above.

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