Why Can't An Electron/Positron Pair Form A Hydrogen Atom?

Thread Starter

Glenn Holland

Joined Dec 26, 2014
705
Here's another question about quantum mechanics:
When a "Pair" is produced, the electron has the same negative charge as the electron in an atom and the positron has the same positive charge as a proton.

So instead of the two particles "annihilating" and releasing a photon, why can't the electron/positron pair simply form an ordinary hydrogen atom like an electron/proton pair? Seems that the electron and the positron must be composed of sub-particles that will combine in a destructive manner so that neither of them will remain stable and annihilate.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,686
This question is like: Why can't a black cat and a white cat combine to make a dog?
It makes something but it's not ordinary hydrogen.

The positron is a anti-lepton, the proton is a hadron (a baryon) and is ~2000 times more massive than a positron.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepton
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baryon

Cat and dogs. They have positive charge in common but that's about the only thing.
 
Last edited:

Tesla23

Joined May 10, 2009
483
Here's another question about quantum mechanics:
When a "Pair" is produced, the electron has the same negative charge as the electron in an atom and the positron has the same positive charge as a proton.

So instead of the two particles "annihilating" and releasing a photon, why can't the electron/positron pair simply form an ordinary hydrogen atom like an electron/proton pair? Seems that the electron and the positron must be composed of sub-particles that will combine in a destructive manner so that neither of them will remain stable and annihilate.
They can - it just doesn't last long:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positronium
 
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