Pair production is the creation of a subatomic particle and its antiparticle from a boson.

Pair production often refers specifically to a photon creating an electron–positron pair near a nucleus.

The photon must be near a nucleus in order to satisfy conservation of momentum, as an electron–positron pair produced in free space cannot both satisfy conservation of energy and momentum.[4] Because of this, when pair production occurs, the atomic nucleus receives some recoil.


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During elastic scattering, the photon's kinetic energy is conserved in the center of mass frame, but it changes angle.


Now elastic scattering is the main form of radiation pressure, and the solar sail.

Radiation pressure is the pressure exerted upon any surface due to the exchange of momentum between the object and the electromagnetic field.


This is the basis for the solar sail, where most of the photons get elastically scattered, from a mirror surface.


Now both elastic scattering and pair production lead to the recoil of the atom the photon interacts with.

Does this mean that pair production is a type of elastic scattering?


  1. Is pair production a type of elastic scattering?

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