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Thread: Any Bremsstrahlung Radiation Emitted (or Not?) Prior to Electron-Positron "Annihilation?"

  1. #1 Any Bremsstrahlung Radiation Emitted (or Not?) Prior to Electron-Positron "Annihilation?" 
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    San Francisco, CA
    I have a physics question.

    Suppose I use an electromagnetic trap to suspend an electron and positron "at rest" with respect to one another, but in close enough proximity that they are strongly attracted by each other's opposite charge. Next I turn off the trap, allowing the electron and positron to accelerate towards each other under the influence of their mutual attraction due to opposite electric charges of the particles.

    At the moment the trap is turned off, mathematically speaking, do we say the only energy present in the 2-particle system is the combined "rest" mass/energy of the electron and positron (at rest with respect to each other)?

    Source: Wiki (Bremsstrahlung) "Bremsstrahlung (German pronunciation: [ˈbʁɛmsˌʃtʁaːlʊŋ] ( listen), from bremsen "to brake" and Strahlung"radiation"; i.e., "braking radiation" or "deceleration radiation") is electromagnetic radiation produced by the deceleration of a charged particle when deflected by another charged particle, typically an electron by an atomic nucleus. The moving particle loses kinetic energy, which is converted into a photon, thus satisfying the law of conservation of energy..."

    “...Note that in the case of electron capture, bremsstrahlung is emitted even though no charged particle is emitted. Instead, the bremsstrahlung radiation may be thought of as being created as the captured electron is accelerated toward being absorbed. Such radiation may be at frequencies that are the same as soft gamma radiation, but it exhibits none of the sharp spectral lines of gamma decay, and thus is not technically gamma radiation.”

    Image Source: Wiki (Bremsstrahlung)

    In the specific scenario I've outlined (electron and positron in close proximity but initially at rest with respect to one another) is ANY bremsstrahlung radiation emitted by either the electron or positron before they mutually "annihilate", & if so where did this bremsstrahlung radiation energy come from? Was it subtracted from the rest mass of the electron and positron? If no bremsstrahlung radiation is emitted by either the electron or positron prior to their "mutual annihilation," what force suppresses this emission, considering that it occurs in other cases of the deflection of electrons by other charged particles, and specifically in the referenced case of "electron capture?" According to the sources I've linked to, free electrons (and presumably positrons) emit bremsstrahlung when their path is being deflected, and particularly in the case of "electron capture." Also, what formula expresses the closing velocity of the electron and positron in terms of %C (speed of light) immediately prior to their "annihilation?"

    Last edited by devin-m; November 8th, 2017 at 06:53 PM.
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