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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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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Why is mass the quadratic term in a Lagrangian?

Why is mass the quadratic term in a Lagrangian?
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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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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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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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Why should it be allowed to set the einbein to unity?

The Polyakov action for a massive free point particle with worldline $\gamma$ is given by $$ S[\gamma] = \frac{1}{2}\int_\gamma e \biggl(\frac{1}{e^2}\dot{x}^2 - m^2\biggr)\mathrm{d}\tau $$ where ...
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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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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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224 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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255 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 ...
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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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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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Is it possible to have a singularity with zero mass?

A singularity, by the definition I know, is a point in space with infinite of a property such as density. Density is Mass/Volume. Since the volume of a singularity is 0, then the density will thus ...
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The contribution to mass from the dynamical breaking of chiral symmetry

The claim is often made that the discovery of the Higgs boson will give us information about the origin of mass. However, the bare masses of the up and down quarks are only around 5 MeV, quite a bit ...
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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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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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Little confusion with see-saw mechanism

Neutinos are either Dirac particles or Majorana particles but can’t be both at the same time. Then how can we write a general mass term as the sum of a Dirac mass term and a Majorana mass term? When ...
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What is the meaning of negative mass (in a SUSY spectrum)?

I was playing around with SuSpect to generate some SUSY mass spectrums and I'm often encountering situations where I get a negative neutralino mass. What is the physical meaning of this negative ...
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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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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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For a particle to have physical mass, is it always necessary to have a mass term in the lagrangian?

Since the self-energy adds to the bare mass defined in the Lagrangian, is it possible to create a physical particle mass from the self-energy alone, with no mass terms occuring in the Lagrangian? On ...
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Is a block of cotton heavier than a block of iron?

if i have a block of cotton and a block of iron each containing a weight of 100 kg when measured on a weighing machine, in reality which one is heaver than the other, which one is heavier and why? ...
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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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414 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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Is $E=mc^2$ false?

Recently, I found a YouTube video saying that $$E=mc^2$$ is false. It says that the real one is $$ E^2=m^2 c^4 + p^2 c^2 $$ where $E$: energy, $m$: mass, $c$: speed of light and $p$: momentum. Is ...
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Do photons have relativistic mass?

I am conducting research on photons and was wondering if they have relativistic mass. I already know that they they have zero rest mass. Any answers are welcome!
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What prevents photons from getting mass from higher order Feynman diagrams

The Higgs boson and gluons have no electric charge and photons couple to charge, so there is no tree level interaction between them and photons. But what prevents higher order diagrams from ...
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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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Can a mass matrix be asymmetric?

I am developing a mathematical model of a mechanical device consisting basically of coupled harmonic oscillators. It turns out that the system mass matrix is asymmetric. I seem to read somewhere that ...
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Is the $\nu_e$ massive?

Neutrino oscillations imply that the $\nu_\tau$ is more massive than the $\nu_\mu$, and the $\nu_\mu$ is more massive than the $\nu_e$, so it's inferred that the $\nu_\mu$ and $\nu_\tau$ have mass. ...
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Why does my apple not weigh 500 tons?

Related to this question: What is potential energy truly? $E=mc^2$ - energy equals mass. So, if an object has gravitational potential energy relative to another object, it should have additional mass ...
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Planetary Gravity and its effects

This is my first question on the Physics portion of Stack Exchange. I was hoping to get some light on the topic of gravity. I don't have much background knowledge of physics so I might as well start ...
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248 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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What is Energy made of?

We have the famous equation $E = mc^2$, and we also believe that matter is made of particles. Then, What is the energy made of? If the two are interchangeable, there must be some common building ...
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Does the recent re-count of stars in elliptical gallaxies affect our understanding of the universal mass balance?

I've seen several popular reports of a new count of low-mass stars in elliptical galaxies (here's one). Edit: Pursuant to several correct comments I've changed the title to agree with the actual ...
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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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Majorana mass vs Dirac Mass

Why is it said that the Dirac mass term conserves the fermion number but the Majorana mass term does not? Can someone explain this mathematically? Which breakdown of symmetry is responsible for ...
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783 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 ...
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360 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 ...
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239 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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311 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 ...
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Moment of Inertia (triangular plate)

I want to generalize the formula for the MOI of a triangular plate (sides $a,b,c$) about an axis passing through mid point of one sides and perpendicular to it's plane . The mass of plate $M$ is ...
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861 views

Impulse from absorbing a photon? Is there an increase in rest mass?

I'm going through A P French's special relativity. In one chapter (6) the following is set up: Suppose that a stationary particle of mass $M_0$ is struck by a photon of energy $Q$, which is ...
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407 views

Mechanisms of mass generation for Dirac neutrinos

If neutrinos are Majorana particles, one way of explaining their small masses is the seesaw mechanism. Now say I'd like my neutrinos to be Dirac, for symmetry to the quark sector. What mechanisms ...
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395 views

Practical method to weigh human limbs with common household items?

What methods could be used to determine (or estimate within a reasonable margin of error) the mass of a living human's limbs, short of cutting them off? And more interestingly, how can this be done ...
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Why is effective mass of holes positive?

i am trying to understand this. I know that the effective mass of electrons or holes is calculated as: $$m^* = \frac{h^2}{(4\pi^2)\frac{d^2E}{dk^2}}$$ Now,if i look at this plot for example: I ...
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If quarks didn't have mass, could protons (and neutrons) exist?

I read here (mass of a proton) that the mass of a proton is mostly (99%) due to the energy of the strong nuclear force which binds the quarks together, and not the actual mass of the quarks. My ...
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Do all the particles acquire mass in the Standard Model due to the Higgs mechanism only?

I know that a mass term for an intermediate boson is not compatible with the gauge symmetry. But in principle a mass term for the electron field does not violate a gauge symmetry. However to build an ...
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Does $p=mc$ hold for photons?

Known that $E=hf$, $p=hf/c=h/\lambda$, then if $p=mc$, where $m$ is the (relativistic) mass, then $E=mc^2$ follows directly as an algebraic fact. Is this the case?