2
$\begingroup$

Consider two bare protons. One (A) is stationary (relative to some arbitrary massless observer); the other (B) is approaching A at 1 m/s. When they collide, I assume that they bounce.

What is the precise mechanism by which energy is transferred from A to B?

For bonus points: Is the mechanism the same if each proton has one electron (that is, a normal hydrogen atom)?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know if relevant to this particular scattering, but a normal hydrogen atom has one neutron too ;) $\endgroup$ – Jorge Lavín Jan 26 '13 at 9:29
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Nivalth: The normal deuterium atom has one neutron, but the normal hydrogen atom doesn't. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Jan 26 '13 at 9:58
2
$\begingroup$

You are asking for the whole theory of scattering developed the past 80 years.

Please have a look at this lecture which covers proton proton scattering.

In a nutshell, any scattering transfers momentum and energy between target and incoming with the exchange of a virtual gauge boson and possibly other allowed by quantum numbers particles. A virtual particle exchange.

A scattering of hydrogen on hydrogen involves only the electromagnetic exchanges, i.e. virtual photons.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.