Question
(a) How much energy would be released if the proton did decay via the conjectured reaction $p \to \pi^0 + e^+$ ? (b) Given that the $\pi^0$ decays to two $\gamma$s and that the $e^+$ will find an electron to annihilate, what total energy is ultimately produced in proton decay? (c) Why is this energy greater than the proton's total mass (converted to energy)?
1. $802.8 \textrm{ MeV}$
2. $938.8 \textrm{ MeV}$
3. This is greater than the mass energy of the proton since an electron has also been converted into energy.
Solution Video