Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: particle and antiparticle magnetic fields

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 12/30/2014
Q:
Is there something different in particle and anti-particle created magnetic field.... I mean what will happen if particle and anti-particle are made to move circularly.... and then spirally .... what will happen if they finally collide.....( motion is co-axial; one into another's direction)?thank u in advance!!
- Bishnu Bhatta (age 20)
Nepal
A:

Nice question. You can divide the magnetic field up into the part that carries energy away as part of an electromagnetic field and the local static field.  I guess you're more interested in the radiating part, since it's that energy loss that can cause the orbiting particle-antiparticle pair to spiral in toward each other.

If you look from far away the magnetic fields from the two particles add up, because they have opposite charges and also are traveling opposite directions. The radiating part adds up also, because the accelerations are also opposite. So the pair just act like a little dipole transmitter sending off electromagnetic waves. (I'm treating this all classically.) 

 

When they get very close, the classical approximation isn't good, because their wave-functions are spread out enough to overlap. That's when they can annihilate. Whatever comes out will still have an equal balance of matter and antimatter

Mike W.


(published on 12/30/2014)

Follow-up on this answer.