PDA

View Full Version : Could matter spontaneously decay into EM radiation?



WaxRubiks
2014-Oct-04, 09:23 PM
I've read that matter could spontaneous jump from one place to the other, due to quantum stuff...I was wondering if, by a similar process, an atom could just turn into electromagnetic radiation.

also I wonder what frequency it would be at. Wavelength the size of the particle, maybe?
If that was going on how would we detect it? One proton, or electron turning into radiation wouldn't give off much radiation, would it? Plus the radiation might not even be emitted in the vicinity of the particle.

Solfe
2014-Oct-04, 10:06 PM
Not that we have detected, but it has been considered in the form of proton decay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton_decay). You would have a positron and a neutral pion. The pion would then decay to 2 gamma ray photons.

I am summarizing the wiki-article, an actually expert will have more details.

JohnD
2014-Oct-05, 09:51 AM
Isn't either possible, just so unlikely that it would take longer than the Life of the Universe to happen?
JOhn

trinitree88
2014-Oct-05, 04:51 PM
Not that we have detected, but it has been considered in the form of proton decay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton_decay). You would have a positron and a neutral pion. The pion would then decay to 2 gamma ray photons.

I am summarizing the wiki-article, an actually expert will have more details.

It would violate Conservation of Baryon Number, something that has never been seen, for the proton. It would violate Conservation of Lepton Number for the electron, also never seen. The pion only has 2 quarks ...(quark/antiquark pair), so you'd have a missing quark, and loss of a color charge, too. All never seen.

ShinAce
2014-Oct-05, 05:52 PM
+1 to what trinitree88 said.

It violates the known(or suspected) conservation laws. Based on known physics, the proton cannot decay. Based on speculative extensions of physics, it is admissible.

JohnD
2014-Oct-06, 08:56 PM
Isn't the possibility of proton decay a foundation of GUT?
JOhn

Shaula
2014-Oct-06, 09:14 PM
Isn't the possibility of proton decay a foundation of GUT?
JOhn
It is not so much proton decay specifically as baryon number non-conservation. Decay of the otherwise stable proton is simply the easiest example to look for as we can make and store a lot of protons.