18-80 Michael K.-H. Kiessling
Do particles and anti-particles really annihilate each other? (543K, pdf) Jul 14, 18
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Abstract. Supported by results obtained with semi-classical quantization techniques, it is argued that positronium (Ps) may exhibit a proper quantum-mechanical ground state whose energy level lies approximately 2 electron rest energies below its ``hydrogenic pseudo-ground state energy. While the familiar hydrogenic pseudo-ground state of Ps is caused by the electric attraction of electron and anti-electron, modified by small magnetic spin-spin and radiative QED corrections, the proper ground state of Ps is caused by the magnetic attraction of electron and anti-electron, which domi- nates the electric one at short distances. This finding suggests that the familiar ``annihilation of electron and anti-electron is, in reality, simply yet another transition between two atomic energy levels, with the energy difference radiated off in form of photons except that the energy difference is huge: about 1 MeV instead of the few eV in a hydrogenic transition. In their proper ground state configuration the two particles would be so close that they would electromagnetically neutralize each other for most practical purposes, resulting in the appearance that they have been annihilated. Once in such a tightly bound state such pairs would hardly interact with normal everyday matter and would not be noticeable except through their gravitational effects in bulk.

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