Particle- antiparticle annihilation, how is it understood?

  • Thread starter alemsalem
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  • #1
alemsalem
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How do physicists understand or "visualize" annihilation without Dirac's hole theory?
 

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  • #2
Synetos
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The way I see it is that a particle and an anti particle can be seen as two waves, a sine and cosine for example. Two waves that are out of fase with eachother and thus anihilate upon contact.

Kinda how light and sound waves can be extenguished with their anti-wave
 
  • #3
kaksmet
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How do physicists understand or "visualize" annihilation without Dirac's hole theory?

The particle and anti-particle does not disappear but releases energy. Since mass is one form of energy, the masses of the particle/anti-particle are transformed, possibly into a photon.
 
  • #4
Synetos
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Or pure energy, which gives off a nice yield :P
 
  • #5
alemsalem
174
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The particle and anti-particle does not disappear but releases energy. Since mass is one form of energy, the masses of the particle/anti-particle are transformed, possibly into a photon.

But is the process described in more detail, or do we just say the electron and positron's energy is converted into another form and predict probabilities for different things to happen..

I'm not sure how meaningful this question is,, Dirac's hole theory describes the process as an electron recombining with a hole in a negative energy state, but a positron isn't a hole, and I was wondering if there is a more modern theory that describes the process in such a simple and beautiful way.
 
  • #6
jtbell
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Or pure energy, which gives off a nice yield :P

There is no such thing as "pure energy," except in science fiction. Energy is a property of something. In particle-antiparticle annihilation, the total energy of the original particle and antiparticle equals the total energy of the photons that are produced in the annihilation.
 
  • #7
yoron
295
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That was interesting jtbell. And you're sure that you can't define energy to SpaceTime without it representing some sort of 'particle'?

So everything must be 'particles'?
=

What would then 'space' be?
Virtual particles?
Or indeterminacy?
 

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