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28
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
25
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 ...
15
votes
4answers
3k 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?
13
votes
3answers
350 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.
10
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
2answers
523 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
75 views

Can an elementary particle be reduced to its properties?

For instance, is an up quark merely its particular mass, 2/3 electrical charge and 1/2 spin? I was wondering if there was a 1:1 correspondence with a particle and its properties, but I noticed a gluon ...
7
votes
1answer
568 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
84 views

What are fundamental dimensions used to describe the physical universe? [closed]

I have heard that the universe can be explained in terms of the four fundamental forces. I have also heard it can be explained in terms such as space, time, energy, mass or even motion. To further ...
6
votes
1answer
205 views

Is color confinement detected?

I'm a graduate student studying QFT. I'm quite interested that is color confinement detected or proved? (both directly and indirectly) Or it is just an assumption?
6
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
280 views

Is ch. 2, sect. 4 of The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. 1 still accurate?

The chapter 2 section 4 of volume 1 is on nuclei and particles. Here are a few things that trouble me. Dr. Feynman says that Another most interesting change in the ideas and philosophy of science ...
5
votes
0answers
472 views

General equation of motion for elementary particles

Elementary particles can be grouped into spin-classes and described by specific equations, see below: Is there a general Lagrangian density from which all these equations can be derived? A ...
4
votes
2answers
576 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
330 views

Is there scale by size of all discovered particles?

Atom: Neutron: Elementary particles: Is there scale by size of all discovered particles? From neutron and proton to electron and to boson? Compare to each other, like this I have found ...
4
votes
2answers
102 views

How does electron spin change instantaneously without violating inertia principle?

The inertia in one of the main properties of matter. That is why all process in macro world do not happen instantaneously. What I do not understand is how we should apply this general idea of inertia ...
4
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
224 views

Nature of Microscopic space-time

I am going through the introductory chapter's of Schwinger's Source theory. He writes, It [Source Theory] is a phenomenological theory, designed to describe the observed particles. No speculations ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

Magnetic moment of uncharged particles

As we know that particles, only having charge, can have magnetic moment, then how particle like neutrino (having mass) can have magnetic moment? Don't bother about neutron because it has charge ...
3
votes
1answer
394 views

Why no fundamental force from the Higgs? [duplicate]

I wish to ask whether I understand the following correctly. This universe seems to have six fundamental elementary bosons namely photon $(\gamma),\ W$-bosons$(W^+,W^-),$ gluon$(g),\ Z$-boson $(Z)$, ...
3
votes
1answer
176 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
44 views

Asymmetry in muon energies of public CMS dimuon event data

CMS published for educational purposes (caveat) 100.000 dimuon events: https://cms-docdb.cern.ch/cgi-bin/PublicDocDB//ShowDocument?docid=11583 As one easily sees, column 4 shows the first muon's ...
3
votes
0answers
37 views

Are the electric charges of an electron and a proton equal or approximately equal? [duplicate]

I read in Auletta's quantum mechanics (section 11.2) that the charge of the proton is, apart from the sign, approximately equal to that of the electron.. What ...
3
votes
0answers
65 views

Can the mass of a SUSY particle depend on the process it participates in?

I believe that mass is property of every particle,as well as spin etc.Now I'm interested in SUSY particles in cMSSM model.Can it be,that mass of a SUSY particle (at one point in five parameter space) ...
2
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
182 views

Parity, how many dimensions to switch?

Parity is described in Wikipedia as flipping of one dimension, or - in the special case of three dimensional physics - as flipping all of them. Is there any simple rule that generalises both for any ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

What is the difference between QFT and elementary particle physics?

I'm a little unclear as to how QFT differs from Elementary particle physics. They both use pictorials of Feynman graphs, is it that Elementary particle physics assumes the point particle perspective, ...
2
votes
3answers
93 views

Self-energy of electron from classical reasoning

If it takes energy to group charge together(self energy) how can it be possible for every single electrons, etc, to have exactly same amount of charge? (think of if we hold some sand in our hand, then ...
2
votes
1answer
490 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
0answers
44 views

Young Tableau Projectors: Does the order of symmetric and anti-symmetric projectors matter?

Given a Young Tableau we find the irreducible basis of an arbitrary tensor by projecting, The projectors are usually defined as first symmetrise over the row entries and then anti-symmetrise over the ...
2
votes
0answers
123 views

Parton Distribution Functions, average cross section of the nucleon

Say we are given the scattering cross section for neutrinos from $d$ and $\bar{u}$ quarks as $\frac{d\sigma^{d}}{dQ^2}=\frac{G_F^2}{\pi}$, $\frac{d\sigma^{\bar{u}}}{dQ^2}=\frac{G_F^2}{\pi} (1-y)^2$, ...
1
vote
5answers
215 views

Do the particles made in a collider exist outside the collider?

Below is the transcript of a section from Demystifying the Higgs Boson with Leonard Susskind. Around 1:02:23 Susskind says that the heaviest of the fermions is called the top quark. Top quark is ...
1
vote
2answers
116 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
513 views

A basic confusion about what is an atom

Wikipedia defines atom as The atom is a basic unit of matter that consists of a dense central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. and defines electron as: The ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Does quark have fixed energy?

Does a quark, for example a up-quark has a fixed energy? The standard model gives well defined masses in MeV which is energy too.
1
vote
2answers
71 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
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Elementary particles

That's what Wikipedia says about Elementary Particle: In particle physics, an elementary particle or fundamental particle is a particle whose substructure is unknown, thus it is not known to be ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Can objects, animate or inanimate, be constructed out of basic particles?

If all the elements are made of protons, neutrons and electrons, but some elements are much rarer and more expensive than others, would it be possible to break apart atoms of one element and make ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Conservation of charge on Higgs production by bremsstrahlung

The Higgs production channel $$q+\bar{q} \rightarrow W^++ H^0,$$ depicted below, seems to be violating charge conservation, or am I missing something? The quark and its antiquark have the same ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

Fundamental difference between neutron and proton

As I try to understand the elementary particles,I was reading strong interactions and Isospin from a book.Then I came across this: Thus,the strong interactions do not distinguish between a proton ...
1
vote
0answers
106 views

History of the elementary particles

The current model for the elementary particles is the standard model. I understand its basics It is for me however, difficult to wrap my mind around it without having some kind of knowledge of the ...
1
vote
0answers
107 views

Matrix element approximation

In the formula for the decay width of $\Upsilon(4S)$ to B-mesons from $\text{e}^+\text{e}^-$ collisions: $$\Gamma_{\Upsilon(4S)\to B\bar{B}}=\frac{\left|\underline{P}_B \right|}{8\pi ...
1
vote
1answer
536 views

Definition of elementary particle [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are atoms particles? According to wikipedia an elementary particle or fundamental particle is a particle not known to have substructure. Moreover, I've learned ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

Are particles solid?

My intuitive understanding is that although atoms are mostly empty space, the nucleus is solid. Thus a neutron or a neutrino can collide with it and do things like deflect or cause a nuclear ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Does it happen at high energies (heavier leptons decay)?

A lepton is an elementary particle. The best known of all leptons is the electron which governs nearly all of chemistry as it is found in atoms and is directly tied to all chemical properties. The ...
0
votes
3answers
232 views

Is it true that an isolated fundamental particle does not decay?

Is it true that an isolated fundamental/elementary particle does not decay? It seems logical to me.
0
votes
1answer
27 views

If matter and antimatter were produced equally during the big bang, where is the rest of the antimatter? [duplicate]

As far as my understanding goes, during the 'Big Bang' equal amounts of matter and antimatter (matter's oppositely charged twin) were produced, and the physical matter that remains within this ...
0
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Why is M-theory not orbitting primal particle but instead strings? [closed]

The M-theory seems so close to the theory of everything but not due to its many mismatches and links only when a certain principle or formula or equation is applied. What if intrinsic angular ...
0
votes
2answers
121 views

What does temperature look like at the subatomic level?

I am trying to get a better understanding of the definition of temperature at the subatomic level. I have a background in molecular biology with some college physics, but no deep quantum mechanics ...