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New matter?

  1. Sep 29, 2005 #1
    I remeber hearing somewhere that if you apply energy to virtual particles before they annhilate each other and seperate them by doing so, then they wont annhilate each other, thus giving more matter into the universe than it already has. Doesn't this mean that matter can be created? Has their been an experiment where this has been done before? I'm sure I'm misunderstand somethine here.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2005 #2


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    You need to cite exactly what this "somewhere" is before what you apparently understood can be addressed.

  4. Sep 29, 2005 #3
    matter can be created just not very well, and only in small things usually smaller than atoms (proton, neutron, electrons, etc)
  5. Sep 29, 2005 #4
    Strictly speaking you are correct. If enough energy is applied onto virtual particles, they can become real. "Virtual" means off mass shell (ie not following the Einstein energy relationship), real means the opposite. Virtual particles arise due to non conservation of total energy during a certain amount of time. this is a pure quantum effect that arises thanks to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The external energy is used to give virtual particle a ligitimate reason to exists. So a virtual electron positron pair can be promoted to a real electron positron pair that does not annihilate (it still can though). Be careful with the language that you use. "creating matter" really means that energy is converted from one form to another. Mass and energy are equivalent via E=mc2 (Einstein energy relation.)

    Ps, this is a good question, so don't you mind stupid remarks like "where did you read this". They make it sound like you made this up or the nature of your question refers to something mystical. In fact this is a very well known phenomenum and check out my journal for more info on virtual particles. I also give lots of references to articles from CERN, NASA, FERMI-LAB,... for more information


  6. Sep 29, 2005 #5
    So what you are saying is that it doesn't violate the first law of thermodynamics becuase what you've really done is convert the energy you put into it into matter?
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2005
  7. Sep 29, 2005 #6
    I would say that you are essentially correct. Though is obviously very complex.
  8. Sep 30, 2005 #7
    yes indeed.

    do keep in mind that during the time period delta t, conservation laws (apart from momentum conservation) are NOT respected

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