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Conservation Laws, Symmetries, and Elementary Particles
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6.In advanced particle physics, physicists not only look at whether a reaction is possible, but also compute the probability that it takes place.
7.Pair creation only takes place near heavy nuclei, which absorb part of the momentum of a photon. Otherwise there would be no simultaneous conservation of energy-mass and momentum. For example, consider a photon that has just enough energy to create the mass positron and an electron. If energy is just enough, then the photon has momentum but the positron and electron will be at rest. Momentum conservation in this reaction is only possible if a nucleus nearby absorbs the momentum of the photon. Therefore, pair creation cannot take place in vacuum.
8.At extremely short distance, nuclear forces are repulsive to prevent collapse of the nucleus.
9.See EPAPS Document No. for Appendix I. This document may be retrieved via EPAPS homepage (http://www.aip.org/pubservs/epaps.html) or from ftp.aip.org in the directory epaps. See the epaps homepage for more information.[Supplementary Material]
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