The Zero-Point Universe
The Zero-Point Universe

The Weak Interaction as a Virtual Particle Interaction
Analogous to Hawking Radiation

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The weak interaction, sometimes called the weak force is used to explain certain types of particle interactions that are not readily described using electromagnetic theory. The most important group of weak interactions is beta decay. Beta particles, more commonly called electrons, were known to be released in certain forms of radioactive decay, which when grouped together are collectively called beta decay. This includes positron decay. The most basic example is neutron decay. A neutron is formed when an electron is accelerated toward a proton with sufficient force to overcome the basic repulsion between them ~680 keV. Within about 10 minutes, half of the free neutrons decay with the electron leaving being a proton and carrying an excess amount of energy. The total energy released is ~680 keV, but the electron energy varies over a continuum of energies with a peak somewhere around 340 keV, the midway point. The remaining energy is carried away by an anti-neutrino. When considering beta decay it is useful to think of a neutron as an electron collocated with a proton.

Within the scope of the standard model, W and Z particles are thought to mediate these interactions. These particles are said to be exchanged, being produced in a proton, neutron or other of the heavier particles said to be comprised of three quarks. The W and Z are much heavier than the particles they are said to come from which leads to questions about conservation of energy. They are also short lived, and cannot travel very far, so it is not clear if they can mediate beta decay and effectively free the electron from the grasp of a proton. A much simpler solution would be nice to have.

It turns out that there is a simple solution that is related to Hawking Radiation and fits within zero-point field theory. In Hawking Radiation a virtual particle pair, a zero-point vacuum fluctuation forms adjacent to the event horizon of a black hole. If one half of the particle pair crosses the event horizon, but the other stays behind, they will be separated. The now free, but formerly virtual particle then radiates away form the Black Hole. This is theorized as a way in which a Black Hole gives up energy and is simply illustrated below.

Hawking Radiation Illustration.

The same thing happens when an electron-positron pair is near a neutron. The positron annihilates with the electron part of the neutron leaving behind a proton. The once virtual electron now becomes free. It is also sufficiently distant from the proton so that it is not recaptured and it carries away the excess energy. Because the virtual electron-positron can have a range of energies, the free electron has a range of energies. An anti-neutrino still carries away the excess.

In a related form of beta decay called electron capture, an orbital electron is captured by the atomic nucleus and a proton is converted to a neutron. It has never been clear how the orbital electron overcomes the repulsive forces to do this, but the Weak Hawking Interaction makes it possible. A virtual electron-positron pair appears in space with the positron near an orbital electron and electron near the nucleus. The orbital electron is annihilated while the now freed electron is captured by a proton, converting it to a neutron. Other forms of beta decay can be explained in a similar manner.

Even more importantly, electron orbital transitions have baffled physicists for much of a century with seemingly instantaneous acceleration and deceleration of the electron as it jumps from one orbital to another at the speed of light. Once again this is readily explained as a Hawking Interaction. A virtual electron-positron pair appears in the space between an orbital electron and a vacant lower energy orbital.   The positron annihilates with the electron and the newly freed electron now occupies the lower orbital. A photon is emitted with the energy, which is the difference in the energies of the orbitals. This is how orbital transitions occur.

Even more generally the reason the Bohr model of the atom doesn't work is because all electron motion at the quantum level is not smooth and continuous, but rather electrons move in quantum jumps that make the electron orbitals appear to be probabilistic clouds. All of these quantum jumps are mediated by the Hawking Interaction mechanism. Even when a body such as your own body is in motion, at the quantum level each particle, electrons, protons and neutrons, are being annihilated and produced in a new location, billions of times a second.

To read more click on teh link to the paper (pdf) here.