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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

13
votes
1answer
403 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
931 views

Are there massless bosons at scales above electroweak scale?

Spontaneous electroweak symmetry breaking (i.e. $SU(2)\times U(1)\to U(1)_{em}$ ) is at scale about 100 Gev. So, for Higgs mechanism, gauge bosons $Z$ & $W$ have masses about 100 GeV. But before ...
13
votes
1answer
516 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
915 views

Black hole “no hair” theorem

The "no hair" theorem (or conjecture), suggests that black holes can be entirely described by their mass, angular momentum and charge. All other details of the BH formation are lost. Is there a ...
13
votes
1answer
390 views

As the universe expands, the wavelengths of photons are stretched, and energy is lost. What about electrons?

Will electrons, and other particles, also loose energy as they travel through the cosmos? They have wavelengths. Do they get "stretched"? My guess is that the EM force, somehow, counteracts this ...
13
votes
3answers
564 views

Wave/particle-duality as result of taking different limits of a QFT

There is an account on dualities in quantum field theories and string theories by Polchinski from last week http://arxiv.org/abs/1412.5704 At the end of page 4, he writes the wave/particle ...
13
votes
1answer
590 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, ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
13
votes
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 ...
13
votes
0answers
304 views

“S-duality” between confinement and the Higgs mechanism?

I feel picked by the second to last sentence in this answer to a question about what would happen if EM and QCD were spontaneously broken, which says "In fact, there is a sense in theoretical ...
13
votes
0answers
335 views

Relation among anomaly, unitarity bound and renormalizability

There is something I'm not sure about that has come up in a comment to other question: Why do we not have spin greater than 2? It's a good question--- the violation of renormalizability is linked ...
13
votes
0answers
244 views

Is there any way to distinguish experimentally gauge mediation from gravity mediation in an unambiguous way?

There are lots of models of gravity mediated SUSY breaking with various spectra as well as various general gauge mediation models. Are there any "smoking gun" experimental singnatures that could ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the alternatives to the Higgs mechanism?

Can someone summarize, with references if possible, all of the alternatives to the simplest model (that requires only a single scalar Higgs field with the Mexican Hat potential) of spontaneous ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the mathematical problems in introducing Spin 3/2 fermions?

Can the physics complications of introducing spin 3/2 Rarita-Schwinger matter be put in geometric (or other) terms readily accessible to a mathematician?
12
votes
3answers
2k views

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)?
12
votes
2answers
4k views

If atoms never “physically” touch each others, then how does matter-antimatter annihilation happen?

It is known that matter and antimatter annihilate each other when they "touch" each other. And as far as I know, the concept of "touching" as our brain gets it is not true on the atomic level since ...
12
votes
3answers
928 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
3k 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. ...
12
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
845 views

Why don't we normally see the Higgs boson?

I am a physics student and my dad just asked me about the Higgs Boson. I've told him the little I know, that the Higgs field is a field that is supposed to give mass to elementary particles, and that ...
12
votes
3answers
787 views

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. ...
12
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
651 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
454 views

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. ...
12
votes
2answers
312 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does the weak force distinguish left and right handedness?

I'm wondering why the weak interaction only affects left-handed particles (and right-handed antiparticles). Before someone says "because thats just the way nature is" :-), let me explain what I find ...
12
votes
1answer
1k 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?
12
votes
1answer
414 views

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 ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Cross-section in relativistic limit: Fermi's golden rule still valid?

In order to calculate the cross-section of an interaction process the following formula is often used for first approximations: $$ \sigma = \frac {2\pi} {\hbar\,v_i} \left| ...
12
votes
2answers
452 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
8k views

What happens in electron-electron collisions?

What are the results of high energy electron electron collisions? Are other particles created?
12
votes
2answers
931 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
votes
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Why not dilute radioactive waste?

Radioactive wastes are dangerous because unstable elements are too concentrated. Originally radioactive elements come from nature where they were very diluted and that's why they were secure. So why ...
11
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

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, ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k 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, ...
11
votes
2answers
899 views

Mixing of quarks, neutrinos… and leptons?

This is a quite simple question: quarks do mix (through the CKM matrix), neutrinos do mix (through the PMNS matrix). Then why do charged leptons not mix?
11
votes
2answers
4k views

Weak force: attractive or repulsive?

We are always told that there are the four fundamental forces or interactions of nature: gravitation, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong forces. We know that gravitation is attractive, that ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Resonances in high energy physics

I still do not understand what a resonance precisely is. Is it exactly the same as a particle? Or only an excited state? And why does it make a peak in some diagrams? And which diagrams?
11
votes
2answers
877 views

Use of Monte-Carlo simulation in High-energy Physics

I've been doing some research into the analysis used in particle physics when determining the significance of a finding (e.g. the recent Higgs candidate was announced as a boson in the 125-126 ...
11
votes
2answers
684 views

How does Annihilation work?

How does annihilation work? I'm wondering why matter and antimatter actually annihilates if they come into contact. What exactly happens? Is that a known process? Is it just because of their different ...
11
votes
1answer
560 views

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 ...
11
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
849 views

Why are “heavier” particles harder to detect than “lighter” ones?

Something I have read multiple times that I've never intuitively understood is that "heavier" particles are harder to detect than "lighter" ones... For example, I quote from Stephen Hawking's "The ...
11
votes
3answers
344 views

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 ...
11
votes
4answers
439 views

Is the electromagnetic mass real?

In his Lectures on Physics vol II Ch.28-2 Feynman calculates the field momentum of a moving charged sphere with charge $q$, radius $a$ and velocity $\mathbf{v}$. He finds that the total momentum in ...
11
votes
1answer
607 views

Derivation of the effective potential between a quark and an anti-quark

Typically in particle physics books (not in QFT books!) I have often seen this statement that the potential between a heavy quark and its anti-quark can be "empirically" represented as $V(r) = ...