Linked Questions

20
votes
7answers
21k views

Why can't a single photon produce an electron-positron pair?

In reading through old course material, I found the assignment (my translation): Show that a single photon cannot produce an electron-positron pair, but needs additional matter or light quanta. My ...
24
votes
7answers
3k views

Why don't photons split up into multiple lower energy versions of themselves?

A photon could spontaneously split up into two or more versions of itself and all the conservation laws I'm aware of would not be violated by this process. (I think.) I've given this some thought, and ...
37
votes
2answers
3k views

How does classical GR concept of space-time emerge from string theory?

First, I'll state some background that lead me to the question. I was thinking about quantization of space-time on and off for a long time but I never really looked into it any deeper (mainly because ...
11
votes
5answers
11k views

Spontaneous pair production?

So I've been looking into particle-antiparticle pair production from a gamma ray and don't understand one thing. Let's say I have a 1,1 MeV photon and it hits a nucleus - electron-positron pair with ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

In QED, why is the $e^- + e^+\leftrightarrow\gamma$ process forbidden on-shell?

QED has a vertex that couples a single photon to two fermions. This vertex describes the annihilation of an electron-positron pair into a photon. Why is this process forbidden for all three particles ...
6
votes
2answers
603 views

Can a free particle ever emit a particle?

I have found this question here Can a free particle absorb/emit photons?, along with other resources that show a free particle cannot emit a photon (in a vacuum). Now, I am 90% sure it does, but ...
5
votes
1answer
871 views

Photon “stuck” on the event horizon of a black hole

According to what I've read on special relativity, $c$ is the speed limit for every object in the universe, and according to Einstein, an object's speed through the three spatial dimensions plus its ...
1
vote
1answer
550 views

QED: basic process which violates energy-momentum conservation

Why is the following process not possible? My book says it's because it violate energy and momentum conservation. Can someone explain me explicitly why? Why couldn't an energetic electron not ...
0
votes
1answer
313 views

Photon decay in massless QED [closed]

Suppose the QED with massless electron and assume the process $$ \gamma \to e\bar{e}, $$ driven by the triangle loop. Is this process possible; precisely, is the quantity $$ \Gamma \simeq (2\pi)^{4}\...
2
votes
2answers
268 views

Can photons decay without interaction?

Can photons decay like other particles without interacting with other particles or fields, i.e. by just "being"? In case the answer is "no" - does this have anything to do with them travelling at c, ...