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Homework Help: What is the difference between proton-electron collison adn electron capture?

  1. Feb 6, 2012 #1
    Is it the same thing? If not what is the key difference between the two and what conditions would make the weak interactions governing the two more favourable than the other one?,

    (My thoughts are along the lines of , that proton-electron collision is referring to free electrons or free protons , whereas electron capture speaks only in terms of an aom capturing it's own electron .
    Another thought - the difference names refer to the type of W Boson emitted and by which particle - and are only there for this reason? )

    I have tried googling this but could not find anything :(
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2012 #2
    Electron capture means, a nucleus trapping or binding an electron flying by and making the electron circulate around the nucleus. Proton electron collision is pretty self explanatory - electron hitting a proton which in most cases means hitting a nucleus.

    If you lower the weak interaction force, more and more electrons start flying by without getting captured by the nucleus. However, while doing this, more and more electrons will start to hit the nucleus when there's lower force preventing them from doing that.
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