Particle physics is the study of the fundamental forces of nature as they are embodied in the interactions of elementary and composite particles at high energies and short time and distance scales.

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487 views

Is there a concise-but-thorough statement of the Standard Model?

I’m a grad student in high-energy physics. I’m familiar enough with the Standard Model, but I’ve always wondered whether there existed a canonical statement of, effectively, “what we talk about when ...
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1answer
350 views

How are neutrino beams emitted at CERN?

As far I know they come from accelerator collisions, but I have read confusing things like magnetically focused. How could neutrinos be guided magnetically if they aren't affected by the ...
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2answers
225 views

Why are atoms particles?

The Oxford English Dictionary definition of particle is as follows: "A component of the physical world smaller than the atom." I read an article in NewScientist and it said "...all particles from ...
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1answer
733 views

Does photon have size measurement because of its particle nature

Does photon have size measurement because of its particle nature like electron's 3.86*10^-13m etc..
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1k views

What are the details around the origin of the string theory?

It is well-known even among the lay public (thanks to popular books) that string theory first arose in the field of strong interactions where certain scattering amplitudes had properties that could be ...
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5answers
3k 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 ...
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1answer
576 views

How to determine the mass of a quark?

As far as I know quarks are never found in isolation, so how can we determine their rest mass?
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3answers
1k views

Decay of massless particles

We don't normally consider the possibility that massless particles could undergo radioactive decay. There are elementary arguments that make it sound implausible. (A bunch of the following is ...
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2answers
588 views

Virtual particles and physical laws

Recently, I was reading about Hawking Radiation in A Brief History of Time. It says that at no point can all the fields be zero and so there's nothing like empty space(quantum fluctuation etc.). Now, ...
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2answers
2k views

Is it pions or gluons that mediate the strong force between nucleons?

From my recent experience teaching high school students I've found that they are taught that the strong force between nucleons is mediated by virtual-pion exchange, whereas between quarks it's gluons. ...
5
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2answers
439 views

What is the significance of Lie groups $SO(3)$ and $SU(2)$ to particle physics?

I was hoping someone could give an overview as to how the Lie groups $SO(3)$ and $SU(2)$ and their representations can be applied to describe particle physics? The application of Lie groups and their ...
5
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3answers
426 views

Cosmic ray hazards

The Pierre Auger Observatory site mentions the detection of a 3E20 eV (48 J) cosmic ray whose energy, well above the GZK cutoff, was based on an analysis of its atmospheric shower. This was equivalent ...
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3answers
870 views

“Slightly off-shell”?

I'm not new to QFT, yet there are some matters which are quite puzzling to me. I often come across the statement that real particles (the ones we actually measure in experiments, not virtual ones) are ...
14
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2answers
952 views

Please explain the physics of a Cloud Chamber

A friend of mine was telling me about building a cloud chamber while he was in graduate school. As I understand it, this allows you to "see" interactions caused by high energy particles going through ...
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2answers
345 views

Is there any theory for origination of charge?

We have a theory of a Higgs field that describes how a particle gets mass. Since mass and charge both are intrinsic properties of a particle, is there any similar theory for how particles get electric ...
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1answer
388 views

Universality in Weak Interactions

I'm currently preparing for an examination of course in introductory (experimental) particle physics. One topic that we covered and that I'm currently revising is the universality in weak ...
6
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2answers
833 views

Virtual photons, what makes them virtual?

The wikipedia page "Force Carrier" says: The electromagnetic force can be described by the exchange of virtual photons. The virtual photon thing baffles me a little. I get that virtual particles ...
3
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1answer
774 views

Are There Strings that aren't Chew-ish?

String theory is made from Chew-ish strings, strings which follow Geoffrey Chew's S-matrix principle. These strings have the property that all their scattering is via string exchange, so that the ...
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2answers
286 views

How the nucleon structure has been identified experimentally?

It is known that nucleons (proton, neutron) are composed of partons (quarks, etc.). How was this identified experimentally? In particular, how it has been identified that nucleons comprise of more ...
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7answers
2k views

What would happen if you put your hand in front of the 7 TeV beam at LHC?

Some speculation here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NMqPT6oKJ8 Is there a possibility it would pass 'undetected' through your hand, or is it certain death? Can you conclude it to be vital, or ...
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2answers
4k views

What is p_T? (transverse momentum?)

I've been looking at a few papers in experimental physics (from the ATLAS collaboration, for example) and I've often run across phrases such as "high-p_T electron." What exactly is p_T? Is it simply ...
3
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1answer
360 views

What is “charge discreteness”?

I assume it is some kind of quantity. Google only made things more confusing. I get that it has something to do with circuits. I also get what a discrete charge is. In fact, I thought charges ...
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2answers
226 views

Where to find cross section data for e- + p -> p + e-?

Where to find cross section data for e- + p -> p + e-? PDG's cross section data listing does not include it.
7
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1answer
234 views

Can the weak force create a bound state?

My understanding is that the exchange of Z bosons could yield an attractive or repulsive "force" between two fermions. For most combinations the electromagnetic or strong interactions will take place. ...
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0answers
262 views

Possible implications of Quark Quartet

Today on Nature's website appeared a news about the discovery of a quark quartet (formed from two quarks and two antiquarks). They say that this particle containing four quarks is confirmed. This is ...
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2answers
529 views

How do you find spin of a particle from experimental data?

So I was wondering, with all this Higgs talk going on, they just detected a particle with a mass of 125 GeV (CMS) or 126.5 GeV (ATLAS). But they still don't know what it is, since there is tons of ...
6
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1answer
344 views

Is there an explanation for the 3:2:1 ratio between the electron, up and down quark electric charges?

I understand that the NNG formula relates $Q$, $I_3$, and $Y$ and can be derived in QCD; does this unambiguously predict the electric charge ratios without making assumptions about the definitions of ...
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3answers
408 views

What allows the modified Urca process to work at lower density than direct Urca in neutron star cooling?

The dominant method of neutron star cooling is neutrino emission. There are two regimes usually presented, the "direct Urca" and "modified Urca" processes, each of which are sequences of neutron decay ...
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1answer
99 views

Where can I get the most accurate measurements of parton distribution functions?

Where would I look to get the most accurate experimental values of parton distribution functions for the proton? I know these functions aren't measured directly, but I'd basically like to find a fit ...
3
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2answers
295 views

What is the highest accuracy of measuring time differences achievable today?

I was wondering if it would be possible to shorten the distance between detectors when measuring the speed of neutrinos to, say, 7m rather than the current ~700km? In this way the distance traveled ...
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3answers
211 views

Can a single particle create a black hole?

Let us suppose a particle with so much energy $ E= h \frac{c}{\lambda} $ so $ \lambda $ is smaller than Planck's length ? Would it be possible? I mean if the particle has so much energy then its mass ...
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6answers
2k views

Why should the Standard Model be renormalizable?

Effective theories like Little Higgs models or Nambu-Jona-Lasinio model are non-renormalizable and there is no problem with it, since an effective theory does not need to be renormalizable. These ...
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2answers
352 views

Why are there no particles in conformal theories?

In Matt Strassler's recent post (here) he makes the statement that scale invariant (I assume he means conformally invariant, more generally) theories have no particles in them. What's the reason for ...
14
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4answers
928 views

What is anti-matter?

Matter-- I guess I know what it is ;) somehow, at least intuitively. So, I can feel it in terms of the weight when picking something up. It may be explained by gravity which is itself is defined by ...
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3answers
5k views

Why you need a graviton when you have the higgs boson?

Since I studied General Relativity I had this question running on my mind. As I see it (just taking lectures of Quantum Field Theory right now) "Why you need a gauge boson for gravity when the higgs ...
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7answers
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What Do We Get From Having Higher Generations of Particles?

Background: I have written a pop-science book explaining quantum mechanics through imaginary conversations with my dog-- the dog serves as a sort of reader surrogate, popping in occasionally to ask ...
14
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1answer
3k views

Are all electrons identical?

Why should two sub-atomic (or elementary particle) - say electrons need to have identical static properties - identical mass, identical charge? Why can't they differ between each other by a very ...
11
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2answers
5k views

What's the difference between inclusive and exclusive decays?

For example, why is the semileptonic $B$ decay $B \to X\ell\nu$ inclusive? I can't find any definition of these frequently used terms, strange.
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0answers
483 views

On the naturalness problem

I know that there are several questions about the naturalness (or hierarchy or fine-tunning) problem of scalars masses in physics.stackexcange.com, but I have not found answers to any of the following ...
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2answers
665 views

How are Monte Carlo simulations used in experimental high energy physics?

How are Monte Carlo simulations used in experimental high energy physics? Particularly in studying detectors limitations (efficiencies?) and data analysis. I will appreciate giving a simple example ...
7
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2answers
2k views

What is the definition of colour (the quantum state)?

I heard somewhere that quarks have a property called 'colour' - what does this mean?
11
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1answer
471 views

Why can the Euler beta function be interpreted as a scattering amplitude?

The Wikipedia article on the Veneziano Amplitude claims that the Euler beta function can be interpretted as a scattering amplitude. Why is this? In another word, when the Euler beta function is ...
11
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1answer
4k views

Phase shifts in scattering theory

I have been studying scattering theory in Sakurai's quantum mechanics. The phase shift in scattering theory has been a major conceptual and computational stumbling block for me. How (if at all) does ...
6
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4answers
998 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 ...
13
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2answers
1k views

115 GeV, 170 GeV, and the noncommutative standard model

Several years ago, noncommutative geometry was used to describe the standard model, somehow yielding a prediction of 170 GeV for the mass of the Higgs boson, a prediction which was falsified a few ...
12
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3answers
284 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
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1answer
886 views

How do $\pi^0$ particles exist?

I have been taught that the $\pi^0$ particle contains either an up quark and an anti-up quark or a down and an anti-down. How can these exist without annihilating? Also, it is its own antiparticle, ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is the Higgs boson spin 0?

Why is the Higgs boson spin 0? Detailed equation-form answers would be great, but if possible, some explanation of the original logic behind this feature of the Higgs mechanism (e.g., "to provide ...
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3answers
1k views

Concept of a point particle in quantum mechanics

A point particle is usually thought of as structureless and without dimension. However, given that Heisenberg's uncertainty principle prohibits us from knowing the position of a particle exactly, what ...
5
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1answer
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 ...