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B What happens to Fermions during Beta decay radiation?

  1. Jun 14, 2018 #1
    I recently started learning about quarks and leptons and was wondering what happens to the fermions (specifically the quarks and leptons) during a beta decay. How is the electron/positron created and what causes the up quarks and down quarks to change flavours?
    If this is a bad question please feel free to ignore it I am just confused as to how it all would work.
    Thank you:smile:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2018 #2

    mfb

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    The particles are simply created or destroyed in interactions. There is no deeper mechanism for that. This applies to bosons as well.
     
  4. Jun 14, 2018 #3
    But how is there suddenly an electron/positron?
     
  5. Jun 14, 2018 #4

    mfb

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    It is created.
    Particles can be created just like that as long as all conserved quantities are conserved (like energy, momentum, lepton number and so on).

    Quantum field theory describes it as interaction between fields but the basic idea is still the same: It just happens. You can keep asking "how" forever but you won't get a useful answer forever. It's just how nature is.
     
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