The property of an object that determines how much it responds to a force in Newtonian mechanics, and how much it interacts with gravity in the Newtonian framework. Mass also refers to the intrinsic energy of a particle in particle physics.

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Why do we need Higgs field to re-explain mass, but not charge?

We already had definition of mass based on gravitational interactions since before Higgs. It's similar to charge which is defined based on electromagnetic interactions of particles. Why did Higgs ...
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454 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 ...
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221 views

Question about Majorana fermions

I have a few questions about Majorana fermions. What is Majorana mass? Does it have a different value compared to the mass in the Dirac equation for an arbitrary fermion? How exactly do they differ? ...
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169 views

Why do clouds fly? [duplicate]

I know it's probably the most stupid question there is, but why do they fly are the clouds lighter than air? What's keeping those tiny ice structures floating miles about the ground? I've been looking ...
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497 views

What's this about kinetic energy increasing with the fifth power of length?

I don't quite understand this quote from Stephen J. Gould's Ever since Darwin, where he talks about the compensating physical characteristics of organisms for their size. Other essential features ...
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474 views

Why do neutrinos propagate in a mass eigenstate?

I am aware that flavor $\neq$ mass eigenstate, which is how mixing happens, but whenever someone talks about neutrino oscillations they tend to state without motivation that when neutrinos are ...
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397 views

What's with the very slightly larger mass of the neutron compared to the proton?

Neutron mass: 1.008664 u Proton mass: 1.007276 u Why the discrepancy? On a related note, how does one go about measuring the mass of a neutron or proton, anyway?
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593 views

If a neutrino has a rest frame, why can't a photon have a rest frame as well?

Concerning Rest Frame Wikipedia states: For example, in the rest frame of a neutrino particle travelling from the Crab Nebula supernova to Earth the supernova occurred in the 11th Century AD ...
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238 views

Why would a particle in an extra dimension appear not as one particle, but a set of particles?

I was reading an article in this months issue of Physics World magazine on the three main theories of extra dimensions and stumbled across something I didn't quite understand when the author began ...
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241 views

Who formulated the idea of mass?

This may sound like a dumb question, but googling didn't seem to help. Mostly because I'm having a hard time formulating the question, and anything with "mass" seems to direct me to "Mass Effect". I ...
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959 views

Explain how (or if) a box full of photons would weigh more due to massless photons

I understand that mass-energy equivalence is often misinterpreted as saying that mass can be converted into energy and vice versa. The reality is that energy is always manifested as mass in some ...
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942 views

Why can't gauge bosons have mass?

Clearly, a mass term for a vector field would render the Lagrangian not gauge-invariant, but what are the consequences of this? Gauge invariance is supposed to be crucial for the renormalisation of a ...
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190 views

Why did this glass start popping?

I remember a while ago my father dropped a glass lid and it smashed. It looked something like this. When that happened, for about 5 minutes afterwards, the glass parts were splitting, kind of like ...
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830 views

What is the difference between 'running' and 'current' quark mass?

When looking at the PDG, there is a difference between the 'running' and the 'current' quark masses. Does anyone know which is the difference between these two?
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4answers
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Finding the volume of this irregular shape I have

I have an approximately basketball-sized non-hollow piece of aluminum sitting in my house that is of irregular shape. I need to find the volume of it for a very legitimate yet irrelevant reason. ...
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3answers
722 views

Special Relativity and $E = mc^2$

I read somewhere that $E=mc^2$ shows that if something was to travel faster than the speed of light then they would have infinite mass and would have used infinite energy. How does the equation show ...
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4answers
924 views

Can you create mass with $E=mc^2$?

If you use the equation $E=mc^2$ could you make matter by dividing the $c^2$? I'm sorry if this is a really stupid sounding question or if it shouldn't be asked here.
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Do all massless particles (e.g. photon, graviton, gluon) necessarily have the same speed $c$?

I suppose there was a discussion already on speed-of-gravity-and-speed-of-light. But I silly wonder whether all the massless mediators of four fundamental forces, i.e. Graviton: $g_{\mu\nu}$ ...
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388 views

What is the massless limit of massive electromagnetism?

Consider electromagnetism, an abelian gauge theory, with a massive photon. Is the massless limit equal to electromagnetism? What does it happen at the quantum level with the extra degree of freedom? ...
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How do we know the masses of single stars?

I have recently read that we can only know the masses of stars in binary systems, because we use Kepler's third law to indirectly measure the mass. However, it is not hard to find measurements for the ...
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6answers
4k views

Why can't photons have a mass

Why can't photons have a mass? Could you explain this to me in a short and mathematical way?
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721 views

What is the role of the vacuum expectation value in symmetry breaking and the generation of mass?

Consider a theory of one complex scalar field with the following Lagrangian. $$ \mathcal{L}=\partial _\mu \phi ^*\partial ^\mu \phi +\mu ^2\phi ^*\phi -\frac{\lambda}{2}(\phi ^*\phi )^2. $$ The ...
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Why is mass the quadratic term in a Lagrangian?

Why is mass the quadratic term in a Lagrangian?
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189 views

Why $-i\hbar\vec\nabla$ for momentum in quantum mechanics, while $m\vec{v}$ in classical mechanics?

I am a little bit confused when thinking of the momentum representation in QM and CM. In QM, momentum is represented as $-i\hbar\vec\nabla$, while in classical, momentum is represented as $m\vec{v}$. ...
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709 views

How are the masses of unstable elementary particles measured?

I am interested in knowing how (Q1) the particle's masses are experimentally determined from accelerator observations. What kind of particles? They must be as far as we know elementary and unstable ...
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5answers
229 views

Acceleration in $F=ma$

I tried to ask this question in Electrical Engineering Stackexchange but was told I was better asking here. Newton's Second Law of Motion states that the vector sum of the forces $\mathbf{F}$ on an ...
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194 views

Inertial mass and gravitational mass of 5 dimensional stars

Consider the following metric which is 5 dimensional (2-parameter) spherically symmetric Kaluza-Klein solution ...
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262 views

Mass gap for photons

I am puzzled by the answers to the question: What is a mass gap? There, Ron Maimon's answer gives a clear-cut definition, which I suppose applies to any quantum field theory with Hamiltonian $H$, ...
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415 views

Special relativity and massless particles

I met an approval that massless particle moves with fundamental speed c and this is the consequence of special relativity. Some authors (such as L. Okun) like to prove this approval by the next ...
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1answer
221 views

Why mass terms are forbidden?

I would like to clarify my understanding on why mass terms in Lagrangians of gauge theories are forbidden. It's often repeated that particle masses are forbidden by electroweak symmetry because it is ...
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1answer
131 views

Mass corrections to fermions proportional to the mass?

In this post regarding quantum corrections to a massless fermion field, the answerer stated that quantum corrections to the mass will always be proportional to the mass (at least in QED). This point ...
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1answer
136 views

Higgs boson mass and electroweak energy scale

Is it a coincidence that the mass of the Higgs boson is exactly half the electroweak energy scale?
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Why is Higgs Boson given the name “The God Particle”?

Higgs Boson (messenger particle of Higgs field) accounts for inertial mass, not gravitational mass. So, how could it account for formation of universe as we know it today? I think, gravity accounts ...
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5answers
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Why do two bodies of different masses fall at the same rate (in the absence of air resistance)?

I'm far from being a physics expert and figured this would be a good place to ask a beginner question that has been confusing me for some time. According to Galileo, two bodies of different masses, ...
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4answers
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Atomic mass of Copper-63?

This URL lists the mass of Copper-63 as 62.9295975(6) and this other URL lists the mass as 62.939598. These values differ by almost exactly 0.01 which seems hard to explain by experimental error. ...
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What defines the mass of elementary particle?

The electron is particle. The mass of electron is $9.10938215(45)\times 10^{−31}\, {\rm kg}$. But why is the mass exactly what it is? What in physics defines the mass of elementary particle?
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Why do neutrino oscillations imply nonzero neutrino masses?

Neutrinos can pass from one family to another (that is, change in flavor) in a process known as neutrino oscillation. The oscillation between the different families occurs randomly, and the likelihood ...
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4answers
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Relativistic momentum

I have been trying to derive why relativistic momentum is defined as $p=\gamma mv$. I set up a collision between 2 same balls ($m_1 = m_2 = m$). Before the collision these two balls travel one ...
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337 views

Negative Mass and gravitation

Since Newtonian gravity is analogous to electrostatics shouldn't there be something called negative mass? Also, a moving charge generates electric field, but why doesn't a moving mass generate some ...
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338 views

Nobel Prize 2013: What is it about? [closed]

I would really like to understand Higgs-Englert’s discovery that earned them the 2013 physics Nobel prize. I tried reading their work, but understood nothing of it unfortunately. The reason why I’m ...
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811 views

What is the mass of a wave?

The slide called "QUANTA" here says that "One Quantum has a definite mass" and the picture shows a wave. So, What is meant by the mass of a wave?
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491 views

Does the Higgs field really explain mass or just reformulate it? What about charge?

The mass of a particle used to be considered a fundamental and intrinsic property of the particle; on the same level as other properties such as charge, spin, chirality/helicity. Due to the Higgs ...
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225 views

Could we prove that neutrinos have mass by measuring their gravitational signature?

It is now said that neutrinos have mass. If an object has mass then it also emits a gravitational field. I appreciate the neutrinos mass is predicted to be small, but as there are so many produced ...
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216 views

Charge Analog of the Higgs Boson?

Since mass can be given to particles via the interaction with the Higgs Field could there be a "Charger Field" that supplies particles with charge? Possibly this would require two different "charger ...
5
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3answers
360 views

bound states of massless fields?

Question: are they mathematically possible at all? physically? with finite mass systems, usually the binding energy contributes to the rest-mass of the system. It would seem that even if you could ...
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1answer
575 views

Why do some particles have a greater mass than others?

The property of mass that almost every particle possesses comes from the Higgs Field. It is this field, which permeates all of space, that particles interact with and hence obtain mass. But why do ...
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What is the difference between impulse and momentum?

What is the difference between impulse and momentum? The question says it all...I know the second of of them is mass * velocity, but what is the first one for, and when is it used? Also, what are its ...
5
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1answer
304 views

Is this static mechanical balance possible without trickery?

On damnlol.com, I came across this picture: http://www.damnlol.com/hello-god-i-have-a-fault-to-report-7549.html My question is: Is this possible without glue? If not are there similar situations ...
5
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1answer
155 views

Question about Neutrino Flavor and Mass Eigenstates

I know the flavor and mass eigenstates are different, but are they related? What I mean is, in a process like fusion where electron neutrinos are created, do they start in the 1 mass eigenstate? My ...
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228 views

Relation of Higgs couplings to masses of fundamental particles

The standard model has 12 massive leptons and 2 massive bosons other than the Higgs. My understanding of the Higgs mechanism is at about the level of this article, which goes as follows. Start with ...