Pair production

  • Thread starter LiteHacker
  • Start date
  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Pair production interests me - create matter from electromagnetic waves.

So far I have read that a Positron-Electron pair can be created by photons having energy exceeding twice the rest energy (m * c ^ 2) of an electron (1.022 MeV).

So, if you have photons exceeding the energy of an up and down quark, (Max 6.8 MeV), you would be creating up and down quarks in addition to electrons and positrons?

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Well, except for two things. First, you can only create particles and antiparticles in pairs. And a down quark is not the antiparticle of an up quark. Each "flavor" of quark has its own antiparticle. Second, you need to create particles that can exist on their own, and a quark cannot. For example you could create a π+ π- pair, 140 Mev for each pion.
  • #3
Since neutrinos have a near zero mass, would there be many of them created then before getting anywhere near the electron-positron pair?
  • #4
Simon Bridge
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Pair-production is an electromagnetic interaction - and neutrinos don't experience that one.
Prev discussion.

Appears you can get photo-production of neutrinos in theory, but that needs a strong magnetic field so you would not expect a flurry of neutrinos showing up ahead of the usual pair-production.
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