How does annihilation work? What occurs when matter and antimatter annihilate? How does an electron combine with an antielectron (positron) to disappear in a blip of photons? What is the process whereby the photons emerge from annihilation interaction? How, at the fundamental level, does mass-energy equivalence operate? (Mass-energy equivalence is the conversion of matter into energy, and the reciprocal conversion of photons into matter and antimatter, and is quantified by E=mc^2). How can something as substantial as matter be wiped out? Why does annihilation sometimes produce 2 photons, and at other times 3? No-one really knows how annihilation occurs.
A solution from the hidden sector
In our latest paper (10.5539/apr.v6n2p28) we offer an explanation for the annihilation process. This solution uses the Cordus theory, which is a specific non-local hidden-variable design, and is therefore from the hidden sector of fundamental physics (as opposed to quantum mechanics, relativity, or string theory).
This paper explains annihilation as the collapse of the discrete force structures of the electron and antielectron, and their reformation into photon structures. The process is more one of remanufacture than destruction. The resulting Cordus theory successfully explains para- and ortho-positronium annihilation: the different photons output, the relative difference in lifetimes, and why Bhabha scattering sometimes happens instead.
Curiously, this theory suggests that annihilation is the same class of interaction as pair-creation (nothing new there), and bonding via the strong force. It suggests the mechanisms are common.
For other background reading on annihilation, see Encycl. Britannica, and Wikipedia. One can also represent the inputs and outputs in a simple Feynman diagram. However the difficulty with all these approaches is describing how the annihilation process works. This is where our design offers a solution.
Pons DJ, Pons AD, Pons AJ (2014) Annihilation mechanisms. Applied Physics Research 6 (2):28-46. http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/apr.v6n2p28