- #1

kiru

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Hi friends,

What is the need for the existence of an antiparticle for a particle?

What is the need for the existence of an antiparticle for a particle?

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- Thread starter kiru
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- #1

kiru

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Hi friends,

What is the need for the existence of an antiparticle for a particle?

What is the need for the existence of an antiparticle for a particle?

- #2

EL

Science Advisor

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kiru said:Hi friends,

What is the need for the existence of an antiparticle for a particle?

One of them is to preserve causality. (See e.g. Peskin and Schroeder Chapter 2)

- #3

mathman

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What is the need for the existence of an antiparticle for a particle?

That sounds like a philosophical rather than a scientific question. Physical theory predicts their existence and experiments confirm it. They aren't "needed".

- #4

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Daniel.

- #5

Haelfix

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Any field theory that respects CPT invariance must include anti particles.

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Daniel.

- #7

jhmar

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This is the wrong way around. Read the introduction to any particle physics primer and it will tell you that the theory is constructed to match observations; only then can the theory be used to predict, where the prediction is in error the theory is adjusted. That is why QT is called a 'mathematical prediction theory'; to become a 'scientific theory' it should have an 'interpretation' and it does not at present have anything like a complete interpretation.

- #8

mathman

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to jhmar

Dirac predicted the existence of the positron before it was confirmed by experiment.

Dirac predicted the existence of the positron before it was confirmed by experiment.

- #9

tariq5

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I like Positron Emission Tomography Scan ( Pet Scan).

- #10

jhmar

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First Dirac constructed a theory

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/uk/2000/newsmakers/2094374.stm

In order to understand 'the need for anti-particles' we need to know what patricles are and how they are constructed; prediction theory does not answer such questions. Marcus Veltman points out in 'Facts and Mysteries in Elementatary Particle Physics' that in many cases we know only the computations, we have no explanation (in words) for what happens between the start and finish of particle interactions, we only know how to compute (i.e. predict) the result.

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- #11

mathman

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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Positron

A positron is the antimatter equivalent of the negatively charged electron. A positron is equal to the electron in mass, but has a positive charge. In 1828, English physicist Paul Dirac advanced an equation that incorporated both quantum physics and the requirements of the theory of special relativity to provide a complete description of the electron. The equation resulted in a particle, however, that could be positively or negatively charged. On this basis, Dirac predicted the existence of the positron.

In 1932, American physicist Carl Anderson observed a new kind of particle in his cloud chamber. A particle too faint to be a proton or alpha particle entered the chamber, and then curved toward the negative area of the magnetic field that was around the chamber. It's velocity and mass indicated was the same as the electron but it swerved toward the negative pole and therefore had to carry a positive charge. Anderson realized he had discovered Dirac's antimatter particle to the electron, the positron (e+ ).

--------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.bookrags.com/sciences/physics/positron-wop.html

The above is the source. Note that Dirac predicted the positron in 1928 and it was discovered in 1932.

- #12

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jhmar said:Dirac predicted the existence of the positron before it was confirmed by experiment.

First Dirac constructed a theorybased on a number of unexplained experimental observations, the theorypredictedthe existence of positrons. Experiments precede prediction theory see-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/uk/2000/newsmakers/2094374.stm

This is very odd. I don't know what "experiment" you are claiming that preceded the prediction of antimatter, but even according to the site you are citing, it says

But there was a conundrum. The equation had two solutions, one representing the electron, the other representing its opposite, a particle with negative energy and positive charge, that had never been seen or suspected before.

It is commonly accepted that the Dirac equation was the first theoretical prediction for antimatter, in this case, the positron. There have been no experimental evidence, nor predictions, before that. What you are quoting only strenghten this view.

The neutrinos were also never observed experimentally first either. It was predicted to preserver conservation laws in beta decays.

Zz.

- #13

jhmar

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The article begins with-

'Experiments had shown that classical physicists could not explain the behaviour of atoms'.

Dirac devise a mathematical theory to match these experiments and that theory predicted (numerically) anti-matter.

Dirac's theory predicts, it does not tell us 'why' or 'how' so it is common practice to call the first discovered particle of any new class, 'the particle' and its mathematical opposite then becomes the 'anti-particle'. (We have no scientific definition that allows us to separate particle and anti-particle ). We know what entities of the particle/anti-particle are mathematically opposed, but we do not know what they are or why they exist, we only know what they do.

Numerous particles are predicted before discovery but, these predictions are always based on mathematical theory devised to match previous observations.

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- #14

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jhmar said:This is very odd. I don't know what "experiment" you are claiming that preceded the prediction of antimatter

The article begins with-

'Experiments had shown that classical physicists could not explain the behaviour of atoms'.

Dirac devise a mathematical theory to match these experiments and that theory predicted (numerically) anti-matter.

Yes, but there's two problems with using this to justify your idea (i) it contradicts the quote later in the article and (ii) Dirac was trying to solve for a different problem regarding the atom, and NOT trying to solve for the existence for some yet unpredicted entity.

There have been many instances where the theoretical attempt at solving a phenomenon leads to the prediction of OTHER observations. This is just the case here. There have been ZERO hints at the existence of anti-matter before Dirac incorporated special relativity in QM. His work in doing this was to solve other problems in atomic physics at that time, NOT to explain the existence of antimatter. Your source clearly indicate as such.

Zz.

- #15

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It's highly interesting that negative energy solutions were obtained when Schrödinger, Gordon, Klein, Fock, and de Donder solved the

[tex] \left(\Box+m^{2}\right)\Psi (\vec{r},t)=0 [/tex]

for complex [itex]\Psi [/itex] equation back in 1926.

Daniel.

[tex] \left(\Box+m^{2}\right)\Psi (\vec{r},t)=0 [/tex]

for complex [itex]\Psi [/itex] equation back in 1926.

Daniel.

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- #16

Haelfix

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CPT invariance guarentees any antiparticle to have the same decay width and mass as its partner.

But fundamentally and conceptually speaking anti particles are guarenteed by special relativity and quantum mechanics. Namely the existence of an SMatrix, and the lorentz invariance thereof imply a creation and annihilation operator algebra. Now in order for such a system to satisfy certain fundamental properties of QM (eg in the presence of some conservation law given some symmetry generator like say the charge operator) we need in general to impose a species doubling in the creation and annihilation operator algebra. Only in the case where conserved current is identically zero, are we left with the particular solution where particles are identical to their antiparticles. And again here, CPT invariance guarentees that we don't have some mass degeneracies or any such thing that would break the simple picture.

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