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Matter to Energy to Matter Conversion

Matter to Energy to Matter Conversion - Matter to Energy to...

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Matter to Energy to Matter Conversion Einstein's equation E = mc 2 says that mass can be converted to energy and vice versa. If you extrapolate the expansion rate and temperature of the universe back to much closer to the Big Bang than when the cosmic microwave background was produced, you find that within the first few seconds, the energy of the photons was great enough to create particles like electrons and protons. But along with the ordinary particles, the photons also created the antimatter counterparts to the particles, e.g., anti-electrons (called positrons) and anti-protons. Antimatter is briefly discussed in the context of nuclear fusion and the neutrino sections of another chapter. The antimatter counterpart of an ordinary particle has the same mass and opposite charge of the ordinary particle (if it is not neutral). When an ordinary particle and its antimatter counterpart collide, they completely annihilate each other to create photons. The process can be reversed if the photons have enough energy (i.e., are high-energy gamma ray photons). Within the first
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