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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

5
votes
6answers
15k views

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? ...
4
votes
1answer
281 views

Is there a theory which treats particles as classical point singularities?

Is there a published theory that looks at all matter as occupying no space and only being felt because of its gravitational pull? We've been taught in school that matter has mass and occupies space. ...
4
votes
2answers
258 views

How can a pion have a mass, given it's a “field mediator” and created/destroyed continuously?

Maybe some of my assumptions here are basically wrong, but isn't it true that pion is the "mediator" for the strong force field. the quantum field theory basically says that there are no fields, ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Do we say that phonon has effective mass through its dispersion relation?

The effective mass is proportional to the second derivative of the dispersion relation d2k/dE2. Do we say that phonon have effective mass through it ? Spin wave have.
3
votes
2answers
784 views

Why are particles different sizes?

Is it correct in saying that a particles size is it's rest energy, and that particles don't actually have size (in the way you get different size objects)? What defines what sizes a particle can be? ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Difference between KE “relativistic” mass and heat mass

I have been told in several answers that the term "relativistic mass" is no longer considered adequate wrt. the mass/energy increase in KE. Yet, I read that 1 Kg of gold's mass ingreases by 10^-14 Kg ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

What is “mass” in particle physics? [duplicate]

It's clear, from reading pop-science articles about the Higgs boson, that particle physicists have something very specific in mind when they say "mass". In classical physics the mass of a particle is ...
10
votes
1answer
558 views

How the inverse square law in electrodynamics is related to photon mass?

I have read somewhere that one of the tests of the inverse square law is to assume nonzero mass for photon and then, by finding a maximum limit for it , determine a maximum possible error in $\frac{1}...
8
votes
1answer
167 views

If protons and electrons had similar masses

If electrons and protons had the same mass, would they still be in a stable orbit around their barycenter, or would they eventually collide? Similarly, a positronium(or protonium) only lasts extremely ...
7
votes
1answer
649 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
899 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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?
5
votes
4answers
3k views

How does Higgs Boson get the rest mass? [duplicate]

Higgs Boson detected at LHC is massive. It has high relativistic mass means it has non-zero rest mass. Higgs Boson gives other things rest mass. But, how does it get rest mass by itself?
5
votes
2answers
377 views

Does relativistic mass exhibit gravitiational effects?

Groundhog Day Update, 2014 The simple and dumb way to ask my main question is this: If something like a neutron start goes sailing by at very close to the speed of light, say fast enough to double ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

Is there a finite amount of mass in the universe? [duplicate]

So, I'm not too physics savvy but I am curious to ask. Is there a finite amount of mass in the universe? or is there more and more being created from somewhere or something? If the universe is ...
4
votes
5answers
13k views

Does everything with mass or energy have a gravitational pull?

As small as it may be, does every 'thing' have a gravitational pull? That is, something with mass or energy. No matter how obsolete or negligible it may be, is it there? If so, how is it calculated? ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Can mass be directly measured without measuring its weight?

From Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass Inertial mass measures an object's resistance to being accelerated by a force (represented by the relationship F=ma). Active gravitational ...
4
votes
1answer
236 views

Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking

In Spontaneous symmetry breaking we have got that, a field $$\phi= \pm \sqrt{\frac{-m^2}{\lambda}}.$$ Now in order to get the unstable minima we need to guess the mass $m^2 <0 $. But can mass be ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Why does a semiconductor hole have a mass?

I have read that holes in semiconductor are nothing but vacancies created by electrons. But how can this vacancy i.e. hole has a mass?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Higgs-Boson/Graviton [duplicate]

The Higgs boson gives particles mass. And the graviton is the theoretical force-carrier of gravity. Gravity depends on mass. So if the Higgs Boson gives things mass, it therefore gives them gravity. ...
3
votes
3answers
444 views

Einstein equation $E=mc^2$: Does it mean an object without mass does not have energy?

Einstein equation $E=mc^2$ where $E$ is energy, $m$ mass, and $c$ the speed of light in vacuum. So does it mean objects without any mass does not posses energy for eg lights photons does not have mass ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Does a photon see a 0-D universe?

For a massless particle the spacetime interval between its point of emission and point of absorption is zero: the two points coincide. From the vantage point of such a particle space-time has reduced ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How does energy convert to matter? [duplicate]

To my understanding, matter and energy are one and the same. Shifting from $E$ to $M$ in Einstein's famous equation requires only a large negative acceleration. If $M$ really is $E/c^2$, does that ...
1
vote
2answers
13k views

Preventing a block from sliding on a frictionless inclined plane

I want to demonstrate what force $F$ you would have to exert on an inclined plane of angle $t$, mass $M$ to prevent a block on top of it with mass $m$ from sliding up or down the ramp. I worked out ...
0
votes
2answers
139 views

Massless bosons but not massless fermions?

I noticed some article on massless Weyl fermions and it got me thinking. I'm wondering if there is any explanation for why bosons (specifically gauge bosons) can be massless (photon and gluon) but we ...
-1
votes
6answers
7k views

What does it mean to say that mass “approaches infinity”?

What does it mean to say that mass "approaches infinity"? I have read that mass of a body increases with the speed and when the body reaches the speed of light, the mass becomes infinity. What ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Why can't massless particle exceed speed of light?

Why massless particle can't exceed speed of light?
8
votes
2answers
342 views

Do solar neutrinos actually oscillate between electron, mu and tau?

I was reading up on the history of the solar neutrino problem, and as far as I can understand it, neutrinos supposedly oscillate from one form to another, thus explaining why there were only one-third ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Planck mass is about the mass of one eyebrow hair

Unlike most Planck units named after "Planck" such as Planck length, Planck temperature, etc, the Planck mass seems more closed to daily life. It is about $10^{-5}$g, same order of magnitude of one ...
7
votes
1answer
213 views

Intuitive explanation of how hadron mass emerges from the strong force

I'm not familiar with QCD, but I'm looking for intuitive explanation of this phenomenon (it could be that easy explanation does not exist). What I've read is that large part of hadron masses arises ...
7
votes
3answers
935 views

Where does the majority of the mass of the usual matter come from? [duplicate]

I apologize in advance to experts for the naivety of the question. It should be a duplicate but I didn't find any satifying question or answer about that. The proton is composed by two up quarks ...
6
votes
3answers
937 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 (...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
717 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

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
votes
3answers
6k views

First and Second Moment of Mass

I recently came across the definition of the Center of Mass of a system as the point about which the first moment of mass is zero. Further, it defined Moment of Inertia as the second moment of mass. ...
5
votes
3answers
17k views

All matter has a mass but does all matter have a gravitational pull?

I know that all planets and stars have a gravitational pull but does a simple much smaller object have a gravitational pull for example a pebble?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What the heck is negative effective mass?

I am reading this book:Solid State Electronic Devices by Ben G Streetman and Sanjay Kumar Banerjee. I have some doubts in the article 3.2.2 Effective mass. In this the aythors say that $E=\dfrac{1}{2}...
4
votes
1answer
455 views

What would happen if a negative mass crossed the event horizon of a black hole?

If negative mass really existed and somehow a very fast traveling negative mass object reached near the black hole's event horizon. What would happen when it crosses the event horizon? According to ...
4
votes
2answers
515 views

How to calculate the highest theoretical artificial hill?

The biggest peak in the world is Mount Everest. Imagine someone starting to make an artificial hill (like pyramide) from soil (earth). So, when starting with an 200x200 Km base area, with 45degree ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

Range Of An Interaction

Why is the Compton wavelength $\lambda_c=\frac{\hbar}{mc}$ used as a sensible measure for the range of an interaction, where $m$ is the mass of the corresponding mediator?
4
votes
1answer
340 views

What is the density and energy of a photon?

As I understand, photons are considered mass-less, which is a necessary condition for moving at the speed of light. However, does that mean their density is 0, as they will occupy some volume. If ...
3
votes
5answers
263 views

Mass and Energy

Would the mass of burnt firewood be equal to the mass of firewood before burning? Then where does that heat come from? According to Einstein's equation, $E=mc^2$ Shouldn't there be some mass going ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

How to get the accurate relativistic momentum form for photons? [duplicate]

I have studied from Griffiths, the relativistic form of momentum is $$p = \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}} m_0v$$ Now when I evaluate the momentum for photon, I just insert $v=c$ and $m_0=0$ and I ...
3
votes
2answers
573 views

Do photons have mass? [duplicate]

As a student in a highschool physics class, my teacher has repeatedly told me that photons are massless. Yet, I have also heard from other sources that photons have momentum. If photons were to have ...
3
votes
2answers
561 views

Determination of mass density distribution of an object

This is a follow-up to a previous question How can you weigh your own head in an accurate way?. My purpose is not to restart the flurry of more or less humorous jokes (which are not such a bad thing ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Do photons actually generate a slight kinetic force?

My question is even though photons have no (rest) mass, do they emit a external force due to EM radiation causing electrons to be excited and jump to higher energy shells which electrons have mass ...
2
votes
2answers
160 views

How are weights and scales used by the public calibrated?

My physics teacher has a set of masses: things from 1 to 10 grams. My chemistry teacher has electronic balances that measures things in grams. In France, there is a block of metal we hope no one ...
2
votes
2answers
240 views

Why won't a block less dense than water fully submerge?

Suppose we have an object of volume $1\: \mathrm{m^3}$. Mass of that object is $500\: \mathrm{kg}$, which means that the density of the object is $500\: \mathrm{kg/m^3}$. If the object is in water it ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Calculating mass of an orbiting body with force and acceleration

I'm new to physics, and it's a lot to take in- but there is a problem that I really can't seem to wrap my head around- finding the mass of an orbiting body, like an asteroid. I've looked around a lot ...