Matter-Energy Conversion – part 2

Another aspect of the conversion between matter and energy involves the complete transformation of subatomic particles into energy. In this situation oppositely charged particles collide, completely annihilating each other in the process, and are converted into energy in the form of photons. An even more impressive feat involves the inverse in which particles are created out of energy.


Electron-Positron annihilation

This matter-energy conversion frequently takes the form of electron-positron annihilation. Basically an electron and a positron (an anti-electron) are drawn together due to their opposite charges. When they inevitably collide their material existence comes to an end and they are turned into gamma ray photons.

In an opposite process, two gamma ray photons can be converted into an electron-positron pair, bringing forth matter from whence none existed. Evidence for these interactions is visible in bubble chamber experiments, such as shown below.

Bubble chamber showing electron-positron creation

Here we see electrons and positrons produced simultaneously from individual gamma rays within a bubble chamber. The particles curl in opposite directions due to an applied magnetic field. The gamma rays don’t leave tracks in the chamber because they have no electric charge.

This is certainly amazing. Somehow the hard and heavy substance of matter converts into seemingly massless, sinusoidal electric fields, i.e. light waves, and vice-versa. How can this be? This process cannot be easily explained in terms of momentum gains, as per the previous chapter, since particles are newly created and fully disappear.


Examining the details

Let’s look more closely at the process of matter extinction.

Above we see an electron and positron hurtling toward each other in their final moments of existence. In an instant from now they will collide, extinguishing both mass and charge in a blinding flash, while converting into a pair of gamma ray photons.

How exactly does this take place? Standard science texts are silent on the question; only reporting that it happens, but without providing any explanation of the possible mechanisms involved. Unfortunately this is not very helpful. What we need is a slow-motion version of events, particularly what happens at the moment the particles ‘make contact’.

There is no way of seeing anything on such a small scale. The best we can do is look at the available evidence and speculate on what could be taking place. Ideally this speculation should be something that makes sense in terms of a classical model. With that in mind, the following is a version of what might be happening.

What if the particles didn’t annihilate, but instead ... passed through each other.

That’s a radical suggestion certainly, and one totally at odds with our everyday experience. After all, two bodies cannot occupy the same space and will put up much resistance against any attempt to push them together.

Now recall from the previous chapter; the real reason everyday objects can’t be pushed together is due to electrostatic repulsion from the surface electrons in the object’s outer skins. In other words, mass does not resist, charge does; and like-charged particles will resist being pushed together.

But an electron and positron are oppositely charged. They are unlikely to put up much resistance at being pushed together. On the contrary, they will pull themselves together, and since there is no resistance, perhaps overlap each other. No flashes, explosions or annihilation. Just overlap.


Okay so the particles are now fully overlapping. What then? Both particles came together at great speed. They still have momentum so there is no reason they should stop here. Instead we would expect them to continue moving and come out of the overlap.

Now the particles have passed straight through each other and come out the other side. Their positions have reversed and they are now moving away from each other. At this stage the particles feel deceleration because force directions are reversed. Eventually the particles slow to a stop.

At this point it appears that the process will repeat itself, then again, and again. Basically the particles will oscillate through each other, as though connected via a spring. Will the oscillation continue forever? This appears to be a frictionless system.

As it happens, they won’t oscillate forever. The VDCL (Velocity Dependent Coulomb’s Law) tells us that as oppositely-charged particles move together the force between them decreases. As they move apart the force increases. This effectively acts as a form of damping which will slowly bring the oscillation to a stop.

This animation shows the process involved.


Invisible particles

The oscillations have now stopped and we are left with an unusual manifestation consisting of an electron and positron fully overlapping each other. This is effectively a composite particle. It has twice the mass of an electron but more importantly a charge of zero.

It goes without saying that a particle without charge is not going to have much of an impact on anything, nor will it be impacted by anything. For all practical purposes it may as well not exist. And that’s just the point. In electrical terms this composite particle is effectively invisible. The electron and positron have not been annihilated after all. They are still there.

We just can’t see them!


The production of light

There is one other aspect of the extinction process that needs explaining and that is the emission of photons.

To understand this, consider radio transmissions. We know that when you oscillate electrons in an antenna it produces radio waves, which are just low frequency electromagnetic waves.

What if that antenna contained both electrons and positrons, and they oscillated in opposing directions? Rather than cancel each other’s signal, the two sets of charges would combine to produce a wave of double the amplitude.

Now look again at the electron-positron interaction. They are oscillating through each other, just like in the antenna. Therefore we should also expect them to produce an electromagnetic wave. In this case the frequency would be much higher due to the lightweight nature of the particles involved. It may even be so high as to be in the gamma ray spectrum.

Thus the most likely explanation for the emission of photons is that the brief oscillating interaction between these particles produces an electromagnetic wave, or more correctly two waves (one for each particle), which have frequencies in the gamma ray spectrum.


Electron-Positron creation

Now for the other side of the transaction where photons are converted into matter; or in this case an electron-positron pair. Once again science has no rational explanation for this amazing event. But armed with the above hypothesis on apparent matter annihilation a simple explanation emerges.

For sake of discussion let’s call this composite positron-electron particle a ‘poseltron’. Is there any way for a poseltron to come undone, i.e. to be broken into its constituent particles? One method would be to expose it to a strong electric field which polarized the component particles and pulled them apart. But it would need to be extremely strong because the positron and electron are in direct contact.

A more effective method of separating them might be to shake them apart. We know that one method of destroying an object is to attack it with its natural frequency. For example glass can be shattered by exposing it to sound waves that match its natural frequency of vibration.

The poseltron came together while its components were oscillating at a certain frequency corresponding to gamma radiation. Therefore it seems logical that if you exposed a poseltron to gamma radiation of the same frequency, this would shake it apart.

I’m going to suggest that these poseltrons exist throughout nature and are distributed everywhere. They may exist in average densities as low as one per cubic centimetre, or the figure may be much higher. We have almost no awareness of them due to their low mass and zero charge.

When a gamma ray comes along, or a group of rays (it would probably need several gamma rays combined), and strikes a poseltron, it would be split into its component particles. The result would be the apparent creation of an electron and positron, out of ‘nothing’.

The low density of poseltrons in nature would also explain why electron-positron pairs are only created occasionally – there needs to be an existing poseltron in place before conversion can occur. Under the current scientific model a photon with enough energy can convert into an electron-positron pair, but would do so for no apparent reason, i.e. at random without cause & effect. This model defies common sense.


Proton conversion

There is another way in which positrons can be created, and that is via a process known as ‘proton conversion’. When Sodium-22, an unstable isotope of sodium, decays it turns into Neon-22. In the process it releases a positron (symbol=beta-plus) and a gamma ray photon. This diagram shows the process:

In the above diagram we see that the total number of nucleons (protons+neutrons) is unchanged and one of the protons appears to have converted to a neutron.

Standard theory holds that there are two means of proton conversion. One involves a proton capturing an orbital electron and converting to a neutron. The other involves an electron-positron pair being created followed by the electron being absorbed and the positron ejected. Sodium-22 fits the second scenario.

In a later chapter it will be argued that a neutron is simply a proton and electron joined together. So the proton-conversion-by-electron-absorption hypothesis may well be correct.

According to current science theory, Sodium-22 spontaneously, i.e. without cause & effect, creates an electron-positron pair then converts one of its protons into a neutron. This may be true but it raises a question about where the energy came from to create the electron-positron pair in the first place since the nucleus apparently decayed without external energy input.

A more likely description of events is as follows:

  1. A poseltron drifts into the nucleus of a Sodium-22 atom.

  2. The Sodium-22 nucleus contains a (not yet understood) oscillation motion that closely corresponds to the frequency of electron-positron interaction.

  3. This oscillation tears the poseltron apart into its component particles: an electron and positron.

  4. The electron is absorbed by a proton, converting it to a neutron.

  5. The positron is ejected due to its positive charge (by the 11+ positive nucleus).

  6. Gamma radiation is generated by the positron-electron oscillation.


The full process

In summary, here’s how the matter-energy conversion process probably happens.

An electron and positron are drawn together. They meet and pass through each other, oscillating several times before coming to rest. The result is a zero-charge composite particle (a poseltron) which is effectively invisible. The process of this oscillation of charges produces gamma radiation.

“Look” says the scientist. “Matter has been converted to energy”.

Not so. The matter is still 100% there. And that ‘energy’ is nothing more than sinusoidal electric fields created by the motion of the oscillation.

Next some gamma rays, possibly resulting from a similar interaction, come along and happen to stumble on the poseltron. They shake its component particles apart and scatter them. At the same time these particles absorb some of the incoming radiation.

“Look” says the scientist. “Energy has been converted to matter”.

Again, no. Nothing has been created; that matter was always there. It’s just that now you can see it because the charges are able to interact with other matter.

Bottom line: no conversion has taken place, it just looks that way.


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Copyright 2010 Bernard Burchell, all rights reserved.