Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What interactions can be expected to take place between a free proton and a dipolariton, (a) at high energies and (b) at lower energies?

A dipolariton is a bosonic quasi-particle mentioned in a recent article in Science. It is a static dipole that consists of an electron bound together with a photon. I suspect the proton and dipolariton would be attracted to one another, but I'm unsure of the specifics.

share|cite|improve this question
Started a question on whether the assumptions in this question even make sense:…. – Eric Walker Apr 16 '12 at 18:26
I suspect the most likely outcome of a proton encountering a dipolariton would be disruption of he dipolariton through formation of a hydrogen atom. Quasiparticles in general are quite delicate compared to fundamental particles, and the proton is just too heavy to participate easily in the dipolariton without breaking it. One qualifier: Very cold protons might be compatible. (Er... I'm going to dare a guess: Are you by any chance wondering if a dipolariton-driven proton might provide a "cold fusion" mechanism? If so, I would say no due to the disruption I just described. All quasi's are weak.) – Terry Bollinger Apr 16 '12 at 23:22
@TerryBollinger, it's a long shot, but I was curious whether neutron formation was a possibility, since the quasiparticle is bosonic. – Eric Walker Apr 17 '12 at 2:12
It's an interesting question, since some quantum values do match. The big inhibitor against neutron formation is always the weak interaction, which is powerfully inhibited by the huge mass of the W boson. You can encourage weak interactions somewhat by adding excess protons to a nucleus, so that the electrostatic repulsion stress is released by p-to-n conversion. That encourages electron capture. The energies are huge compared to quasiparticle levels, however, and even then capture can take days. – Terry Bollinger Apr 17 '12 at 13:53
@TerryBollinger I'm not too familiar with the restrictions arising from the weak interaction -- I assume that implies that you would need a significant amount of energy? I was imagining a proton whose movement is restricted within the lattice of a metal and a photon that is at X-ray or gamma energies. – Eric Walker Apr 17 '12 at 14:31

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.