1. Joined
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    16 Dec '20 21:483 edits
    what I mean by that question is that can we ever create some technology in the future that will enable us to convert pure energy, in the form of electromagnetic radiation with no mass, into a proton and an electron both of which have mass?
    I obviously know we can already convert energy into mass because, for example, we can use energy to split an iron atom into two to create two atoms with masses collectively slightly higher than that of the iron atom even though they collectively have the same number of nucleons at the iron atom, so that's not what I am asking.
    What I am asking is, will there ever be a practical technological way for us to make a new nucleon plus a new electron from pure energy and without merely converting one nucleon into another like normally happens in nuclear physics?
  2. SubscriberPonderable
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    17 Dec '20 10:551 edit
    @humy said
    what I mean by that question is that can we ever create some technology in the future that will enable us to convert pure energy, in the form of electromagnetic radiation with no mass, into a proton and an electron both of which have mass?
    I obviously know we can already convert energy into mass because, for example, we can use energy to split an iron atom into two to create tw ...[text shortened]... rgy and without merely converting one nucleon into another like normally happens in nuclear physics?
    I think this is if possible at all very far away. But I do hope that we get the nuclear fusion right at some point in my Lifetime...
  3. Standard memberDeepThought
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    20 Dec '20 08:191 edit
    @humy said
    what I mean by that question is that can we ever create some technology in the future that will enable us to convert pure energy, in the form of electromagnetic radiation with no mass, into a proton and an electron both of which have mass?
    I obviously know we can already convert energy into mass because, for example, we can use energy to split an iron atom into two to create tw ...[text shortened]... rgy and without merely converting one nucleon into another like normally happens in nuclear physics?
    No, the quantum numbers need to add up to zero and an electron has lepton number and the three constituent quarks have baryon number, the photon has neither. Making an electron and a positron in the way you describe is easy.

    Clearly, what I said in the previous paragraph assumes the Standard Model. In the context of a Grand Unified Theory we might expect the electron and the three quarks to form a quadruplet under an SU(4) subgroup and so if you can create a photon with energy in excess of the GUT reunification scale the cross section might become more than vanishingly small. That's of the order of 10 trillion TeV, so a trillion times more energy than at LHC. I doubt it's feasible.
  4. Joined
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    20 Dec '20 10:471 edit
    @deepthought said
    Making an electron and a positron in the way you describe
    Arr, yes, I forgot about that matter-antimatter symmetry. What I had in mind then would probably have little use for the purpose I had in mind even if it worked because, for the purposes I had in mind, I don't want to create antimatter in the process.
  5. California
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    20 Dec '20 23:56
    it's just other dimensions bumping into ours....thats why in a vacuum matter can briefly appear.
  6. Subscribersonhouse
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    21 Dec '20 04:21
    @DeepThought Well there at least is an experiment going on:

    https://phys.org/news/2018-03-underway.html#:~:text=The%20theory%20of%20the%20Breit-Wheeler%20process%20says%20it,have%20required%20the%20addition%20of%20other%20high-energy%20particles.
  7. Joined
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    21 Dec '20 09:24
    @sonhouse said

    https://phys.org/news/2018-03-underway.html#:~:text=The%20theory%20of%20the%20Breit-Wheeler%20process%20says%20it,have%20required%20the%20addition%20of%20other%20high-energy%20particles.
    I have just read that link and I find it informative and highly relevant to the OP subject matter.
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