View Full Version : Speed of Light & Electron to Photon Phase Change

2010-Nov-07, 05:32 PM
So you have all these little electrons speeding around this nucleus of protons and neutrons running at close to the speed of light (99.999999.....%). Since at this point the electrons have mass they are only close to the speed of light but can't be at the speed of light because they have mass. Along comes a bit of energy from outside this little system (in the form of a photon) and boosts up the energy level just enough so that one of the electrons (currently with mass) looses that mass and exits the system as a massless photon. The act of converting it's mass into massless energy allows it to reach the speed of light and leave the little system and becomes a photon itself. The electron must go through this phase change (from mass to massless) in order the reach the speed of light. Here's the chicken and egg.... during this phase change, does the electron (with mass) reach the speed light so that it can undergo the phase change of losing it's mass. Remember we're only talking about the trillionth or so of a second while the electron is undergoing the change. Thoughts?

2010-Nov-07, 06:47 PM
Welcome to BAUT dbob.
My thoughts are that you should read up a bit on how things work in an atom.

2010-Nov-09, 11:36 PM
A photon cannot destroy an electron like that. In most reactions the lepton number is conserved.

Welcome to the board. I'd suggest you head to Q&A and ask about what photons can do to electrons or read up on the subject. Electrons can annihilate with positrons to produce pure photonic states but they cannot just do it if you give them a little bit of energy.