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13
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7answers
2k views

Why do physicists believe that particles are pointlike?

String theory gives physicists reason to believe that particles are 1-dimensional strings because the theory has a purpose - unifying gravity with the gauge theories. So why is it that it's popular ...
33
votes
6answers
6k views

Do electrons have shape?

According to the Wikipedia page on the electron: The electron has no known substructure. Hence, it is defined or assumed to be a point particle with a point charge and no spatial extent. Does ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do physicists think that the electron is an elementary particle?

When we first discovered the proton and neutron, I'm sure scientists didn't think that it was made up of quark arrangements, but then we figured they could be and experiments proved that they were. ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Intrinsic structure of electron

The electron contains finite negative charge. The same charges repel each other. What makes electron stable and why does it not burst? Is it a law of nature that the electron charge is the smallest ...
17
votes
3answers
811 views

Why are all force particles bosons?

All of the force-particles in the standard model are bosons, now my question is pretty short, namely: Why are all force particles bosons? This can't be a coincidence.
19
votes
4answers
7k views

Can you split a photon?

I was wondering if a photon is divisible. If you look at a photon as a particle, then you may be able to split it (in theory). Is it possible and how do you split it?
0
votes
1answer
144 views

Is everything in the physical world composite?

In philosophy there is a principle that anything composite cannot have existed eternally, since it is preceded by its parts and whatever forces assembled it. Is everything in the physical world ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

An electron has no known internal structure, does that imply it has an unknown one?

I'm currently reading Alonso and Finn's Electromagnetism book. It explains that the spin contributes to the magnetic moment and is somewhat comparable to a rotation of the particle around its own ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do quarks have a fractional charge?

I am aware that evidence exists that strongly suggests the existence of quarks and do not doubt it. It is just simply really weird to me that they can have a fractional charge. While other ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

Good book about elementary particles for high school students?

I need a good book about elementary particles. I am a high school student and don't want anything to technical. I read a brief history of time and the universe in a nutshell but I want something that ...
2
votes
2answers
620 views

What experiment(s) have or can refute the existence of an electron-particle “system” over the separate existence of a neutron within itself?

This question actually came about from a discussion of another question posed here The neutron is known to be comprised of an electron and a proton, and there are observations that the neutron can be ...
1
vote
2answers
186 views

Can we make usable energy from subnuclear particles?

I understand mass and energy are the same, but in this question I will be talking about mass being turned into usable energy (electricity/heat/etc). We can make our energy through chemical reactions ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Explaining chirality for spin 1/2 particle

I found the following explanation for chirality for spin 1/2 particles here What happens when you rotate a left- vs right-chiral fermion 360 degree about its direction of motion. Both ...
0
votes
4answers
211 views

Why, fundamentally, are particles charged?

This is something that has long bothered me, and I have asked a few physicists and chemists and never gotten a very satisfying answer. Why are particles charged? And I'm not asking (and this is the ...
5
votes
1answer
235 views

Why should I believe that “elementary” particles are indeed elementary?

Atoms were once thought to be indivisible (i.e. have no substructure), until it was discovered that they are made of protons and neutrons. Protons and neutrons in turn are made of quarks, and that's ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

How can a point-particle have properties?

I have trouble imagining how two point-particles can have different properties. And how can finite mass, and finite information (ie spin, electric charge etc.) be stored in 0 volume? Not only that, ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

Is the graviton hypothetical?

Wikipedia lists the graviton as a hypothetical particle. I wonder whether graviton is indeed hypothetical or does its existence directly follow from modern physics? Does observation of gravitational ...
3
votes
1answer
232 views

Rigorous mathematical formalism of particle physics

Can anyone provide me with a rigorous mathematical definition of the fundamental particles (all fundamental bosons and fermions), reflecting the analogy of action of groups with interaction of ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Is a photon technically a set of two particles?

When looking at the classification of massless particles, one finds that there is the (half-integer) quantum number "helicity" $h$. For every possible $h$ there is a certain particle kind. In the case ...
4
votes
2answers
222 views

Can quarks be considered real and elementary?

In our current theories all hadrons are made up of quarks and gluons. This view reduces considerably the big family of hadrons by providing a very logical structure in which all quantum properties ...
3
votes
1answer
710 views

Is it dangerous if one elementary particle with high energy penetrates our brain?

We might be killed if a bullet penetrates our brain. How about an elementary particle moving with high energy penetrates our brain? Assume that we can have exactly a single elementary particle for ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

Is it possible to measure the radius of an elementary particle?

The only way to describe the electron radius that I found in literature is the "classical electron radius". Is it possible to experimentally measure this? Is there a better way to describe the ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

Quarks are now considered to be fundamentals, but so were atoms some time ago. So the way we see is only limited by our technological advances? [duplicate]

After watching this FuseSchool - Global Education episode, I cannot stop thinking how can something not have a substructure, how it cannot be split? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlv06lSAC7c
9
votes
2answers
915 views

Is everything made of massless particles?

Photons have no mass. Yet they interact gravitationally, as all energy does, with other energetic and massive particles. This means that if you put multiple photons in a system, you get something that ...
2
votes
0answers
103 views

Are we able to store low energy positrons in a magnetic field for arbitrarily long time?

And if not, what prevents us? Is there a mathematical equation describing the loss rate?
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Which of the properties of particles are intrinsic properties and why? [closed]

For macroscopic objects it's clear that - once observed - the observed property does exist for a while, even if we are no longer observing it. That has to do with the complexity and stability of such ...
1
vote
3answers
465 views

What is the smallest observable structure in the universe?

I've been wondering about the Planck length recently, but it is not observable. What is the smallest actually observable structure in the universe?
0
votes
2answers
65 views

Since nucleons are not elementary particles more, how we call nucleons and electrons together now? [closed]

In the time before the discovery of quarks the nucleon particle proton and neutron together with electrons were called elementary particles. It's a little bit boring to have only the possibility to ...