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Homework Help: What happens to electromagnetic radiation during collision?

  1. Dec 5, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    When a particle is accelerated toward another particle it is giving off electromagnetic radiation in the form of gamma waves. After a particle is annihilated, pions are transferred between the particles which turn into gamma waves which decay into (for example) an electron and positron. is this true? If this is not true, what really happens? My real question is, is the electromagnetic radiation of accelerated particles in any way related to the photon that is released after a collision between them? As in is that the energy that is used to create the particles? Where does the extra energy come from that is not the sum of the two particles' rest mass?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2016 #2


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    Doesn't look like homework to me, more like healthy curiosity :smile:.

    A lot of questions on something that is basically very slippery. We all would like a simple, easy to understand description of what exactly happens on a 10 minus a lot scale and all we get is field theories with long, long expressions that make your ears ring :rolleyes: and that turn out to be simplifications, approximations and what have you. It's not fair.

    From your wording I gather you are in initial stages of your curriculum, so: what kind of an answer would you give to a fellow student with these questions ? Perhaps a more qualified person (I'm just an experimentalist) can provide some guidance then...
  4. Dec 6, 2016 #3

    Simon Bridge

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    Look up the transitions and see if they can happen the way you describe.
    ie. that last step is pair production... what are the conditions for pair production? Do all photons produce electron-positron pairs?

    Yes. They are both light.
    I'm not being flip here - I hope to prompt you to clarify your question. Everything in physics is expected to be related to everything else you see...

    These two descriptions come from different models - it is OK to draw links between descriptions but be careful about using two separate models in the same description. One is from the wave model of light and the other from the photon model.

    You may also be confusing virtual particles in Feynman diagrams with real particles.
    Please provide an example.[/quote][/quote]
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