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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Does Kaluza-Klein theory successfully unify GR and EM? Why can't it be extended to the Standard Model gauge group?

As a quick disclaimer, I thought this might be a better place to ask than Physics.SE. I already searched there with "kaluza" and "klein" keywords to find an answer, but without luck. As background, ...
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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 ...
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2answers
3k views

Do anti-photons exist?

I know what anti-matter is and how when it collides with matter both are annihilated. However, what about anti-photons? Are there such things as anti-photons? I initially thought the idea ...
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2answers
990 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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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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How does one experimentally determine chirality, helicity, spin and angular momentum?

If I've got an instance of a fundamental particle, how can I separate out the measurements of these three concepts? (I think) I understand the theory behind them, and why the particles in the ...
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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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274 views

Infrared-free QED and Higgsless standard model phenomenology

This is one of those "what if" fantasy world type questions. I like hard sci-fi so please no "well, you changed one thing about the world so now anything goes." :) What if the Higgs had no vev? That ...
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Accelerating particles to speeds infinitesimally close to the speed of light?

I'm in a freshmen level physics class now, so I don't know much, but something I heard today intrigued me. My TA was talking about how at the research facility he worked at, they were able to ...
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188 views

realization of: CFT generating fuction = AdS partition function

An important aspect of the AdS/CFT correspondence is the recipe to compute correlation functions of a boundary operator $\mathcal{O} $ in terms of the supergravity fields in the interior of the ...
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4answers
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How to explain the weak force to a layman?

I'm trying to explain in simple terms what the weak interaction does, but I'm having trouble since it doesn't resemble other forces he's familiar with and I haven't been able to come up (or find on ...
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482 views

Could LEP II have discovered a 125GeV Higgs?

LEP II eliminated the Higgs up to 114.5GeV. If it had been run for longer could it have detected a Higgs at 125GeV? I Googled for this without any luck, though I did find a comment that LEP II topped ...
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Are elementary particles ultimate fate of black holes?

From the "no hair theorem" we know that black holes have only 3 characteristic external observables, mass, electric charge and angular momentum (except the possible exceptions in the higher ...
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2answers
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What happens to matter in a standard model with zero Higgs VEV?

Suppose you reset the parameters of the standard model so that the Higgs field average value is zero in the vacuum, what would happen to standard matter? If the fundamental fermions go from a finite ...
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2answers
700 views

What is the current status of the anomalous muon magnetic moment?

Many years ago, a discrepancy was found between the experimentally measured value of the muon magnetic moment, and the theoretically calculated value. Shockingly, most physicists were blase about it. ...
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353 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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92 views

Instanton Moduli Space with a Surface Operator

I would like to understand the mathematical language which is relevant to instanton moduli space with a surface operator. Alday and Tachikawa stated in 1005.4469 that the following moduli spaces are ...
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526 views

How come random matrices can predict energy spectra of heavy atoms?

Some of the applications of random matrices is to find the spectra of heavy atoms in nuclear physics which are usually difficult to find otherwise. How can starting from randomness of some kind, ...
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What is the need for the Higgs mechanism and electroweak unification?

The Higgs mechanism allows massless fields to acquire mass through their coupling to a scalar field. But if the masses cannot be predicted because the couplings have to be fixed, what really is the ...
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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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0answers
348 views

Status of experimental searches for tachyons?

Now that the dust has settled on the 2011 superluminal neutrino debacle at OPERA, I'm interested in understanding the current status of experimental searches for neutrinos. Although the OPERA claim ...
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755 views

Speed of neutrinos

Everyone knows it is close to $c$, but how close? What are the recent results?
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3answers
2k 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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466 views

Matter-Antimatter Asymmetry in Experiments?

As I hope is obvious to everyone reading this, the universe contains more matter than antimatter, presumably because of some slight asymmetry in the amounts of the two generated during the Big Bang. ...
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764 views

Why is stringless supergravity not considered by many to be a candidate theory of quantum gravity?

This paper seems to show that $d=4, N=8$ supergravity is finite. Yet the paper only has three citations in spires, and I certainly haven't heard talk of a new candidate theory of gravity. Why ...
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Mathematics of AdS/CFT

To date, what is the most mathematically precise formulation of the AdS/CFT correspondence, and what are the most robust tests of the conjecture?
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3answers
2k views

What does it mean that the neutral pion is a mixture of quarks?

The quark composition of the neutral pion ($\pi^0$) is $\frac{u\bar{u} - d\bar{d}}{\sqrt{2}}$. What does this actually mean? I think it's bizarre that a particle doesn't have a definite composition. ...
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300 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.
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So, no Higgs boson then?

There are a lot of articles being posted in the wake of a CERN announcement that they have not observed the Higgs boson in the range of energies so far searched (between 145 and 466 billion eV), e.g. ...
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883 views

What are bootstraps?

I've heard occasional mentions of the term "bootstraps" in connection with the S Matrix. I believe it applies to an old approach that was tried in the 1960s, whereby - well I'm not sure - but it ...
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3answers
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Hypercharge for $U(1)$ in $SU(2)\times U(1)$ model

I understand that the fundamental representation of $U(1)$ amounts to a multiplication by a phase factor, e.g. EM. I thought that when it is extended to higher dimensional representations, it would ...
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3answers
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trying to understand Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC)

I am a computer scientist interested in network theory. I have come across the Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) because of its connections to complex networks. What I know about condensation is the ...
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2answers
373 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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352 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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146 views

Spallation neutron generation and pure U-238 reactors

Main question: Is it possible to achieve net power generation based on linear proton accelerator and U-238 target? In the proposed reactor design there is a proton beam with energy ~10 GeV, and on ...
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How does the Super-Kamiokande experiment falsify SU(5)?

In his book "The Trouble With Physics", Lee Smolin writes that he is still stunned by the falsification of the $SU(5)$ Georgi-Glashow model by the null results of proton decay experiments. I should ...
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Why are quark types known as flavors?

There are six types of quarks, known as flavors. Why where these types called flavors? Why do the flavors have such odd names (up, down, charm, strange, top, and bottom)?
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Where does matter come from?

I admit, it's been a few years since I've studied physics, but the following question came to me when I was listening to a talk by Lawrence Krauss. Is there any knowledge of from where matter that ...
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2answers
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Higgs Boson mass in Electron volts?

Im no physics genius here, I was just interested in the Higgs Boson so I was reading this article : How the Discovery of the Higgs Boson Could Break Physics I came across this Furthermore, ...
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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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504 views

Bound states in QCD: Why only bound states of 2 or 3 quarks and not more?

Why when people/textbooks talk about strong interaction, they talk only about bound states of 2 or 3 quarks to form baryons and mesons? Does the strong interaction allow bound states of more than 3 ...
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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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+100

Justification for new theories of Particle Physics and General Relativity

In reference to arxiv:1212.4893v3 and arxiv:1206.5078v2 papers of Ma and Wang, they have proposed new theories in particle physics, the weakton model where quarks and leptons are formed using these ...
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Is the neutral pion a singlet?

In Griffiths' Introduction to Elementary Particles, it is mentioned p. 179 that the $\pi^0$ is a singlet under $SU(2)$ isospin. But it is also part of the $\pi^-,\pi^0,\pi^+$ isospin triplet. How can ...
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1answer
297 views

Operator that describes particle detector

In non-relativistic QM, the position of a particle is an observable. In QFT, fields are the observables. However, particles must have some sort of position, otherwise we wouldn't see pictures like the ...
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Alejandro Rivero's correspondence: diquarks and mesons as superpartners of quarks and leptons

The idea of “hadronic supersymmetry” originated in the mid-1960s and derives from the observation that baryons and mesons have similar Regge slopes, as if antiquarks and diquarks are superpartners. ...
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1answer
980 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 ...
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 ...
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2answers
190 views

What is the 'bump' near $M_{\mu\mu}\approx 30\text{ GeV}$

In this (attached) Summer 2011 plot from CMS (twiki page), they have a plot of the dimuon invariant mass spectrum across 3 orders of magnitude in energy. There seems to be a 'bump' near ...
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597 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?