Definitions for pair production

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. pair production, pair creation, pair formation(noun)

    the transformation of a gamma-ray photon into an electron and a positron when the photon passes close to an atomic nucleus

Freebase

  1. Pair production

    Pair production refers to the creation of an elementary particle and its antiparticle, usually when a photon interacts with a nucleus. For example an electron and its antiparticle, the positron, may be created. This is allowed, provided there is enough energy available to create the pair – at least the total rest mass energy of the two particles – and that the situation allows both energy and momentum to be conserved. Other pairs produced could be a muon and anti-muon or a tau and anti-tau. However all other conserved quantum numbers of the produced particles must sum to zero – thus the created particles shall have opposite values of each other. For instance, if one particle has electric charge of +1 the other must have electric charge of −1, or if one particle has strangeness of +1 then another one must have strangeness of −1. The probability of pair production in photon-matter interactions increases with increasing photon energy and also increases with atomic number approximately as Z².

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