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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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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501 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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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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511 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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Particle physics plots

I'm having a hard time understanding what some of the plots that are presented by ATLAS/CMS actually show. See for example: http://resonaances.blogspot.com/2011/07/higgs-wont-come-out-of-closet.html ...
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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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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. ...
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406 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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275 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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718 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 ...
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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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311 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 ...
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756 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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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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594 views

Origin of electric charge

Baryons have charges that are the result of a polynomial calculation of their building blocks (quarks)'s fractional charges. But what gives these quarks electric charges? What interactions do they ...
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3k 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 ...
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324 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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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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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 ...
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312 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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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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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 ...
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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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852 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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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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What is the definition of colour (the quantum state)?

I heard somewhere that quarks have a property called 'colour' - what does this mean?
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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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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 ...
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377 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 ...
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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 ...
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358 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 ...
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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 ...
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799 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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250 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 ...
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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 ...
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Is there any idea why the electric charges of electron and muon are equal?

Is there any idea explaining why the electric charges of electron and muon are equal? Edit: The total charge of a particle is proportional to the integral of its own electric field flow through the ...
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Isn't a single Quantum one single string? [duplicate]

In physics, a quantum (plural: quanta) is the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction. In Quantum Mechanics There is no difference between one Quantum to another one. ...
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The delay between neutrinos and gammas in a supernova, and the absolute mass scale of neutrinos

In a supernova explosion (of some type), there is a huge amount of neutrinos and gamma rays produced by a runaway nuclear reaction at the stellar core. In a recent comment, dmckee noted that the ...
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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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What is the difference between a neutron and hydrogen?

Differences? They are both an electron and a proton, since the neutron decays to a proton and an electron, what's the difference between a neutron and proton + electron? so is it just a higher binding ...
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Do current models of particle physics explain the chemical properties of elements/compounds?

I have a particle system of seven protons and seven (or sometimes eight) neutrons (each formed by their appropriate quarks, etc.) bound together in a state that can be macroscopically described as a ...
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Are the rest masses of fundamental particles certainly constants?

In particular I am curious if the values of the rest masses of the electron, up/down quark, neutrino and the corresponding particles over the next two generations can be defined as constant or if ...
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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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What if we could give photons some mass?

I was reading an article and these paragraphs got me wondering... Before I list the replies, here is some background. The Higgs mechanism describes an invisible field that, it is argued, split one ...
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250 views

How to count quarks using Deep Inelastic Scattering?

The Wikipedia article on deep inelastic scattering suggests that the experiment shows baryons have three point of deflections (corresponding to three quarks) and mesons have two points of deflection. ...
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1answer
202 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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What does the latest $B_s^0\rightarrow \mu^+\mu^-$ results mean for SUSY?

A paper from the LHCb collaboration just came out last week, stating basically that the $B_s^0\rightarrow\mu^+\mu^-$ decay matches standard model predictions, and people are already shouting that SUSY ...