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 do physicists believe that particles are pointlike?

String theory gives physicists reason to believe that particles are 1-dimensional strings because the theory has a purpose - unifying gravity with the gauge theories. So why is it that it's popular ...
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232 views

The life of proton

I have two questions regarding protons 1) Wikipedia says Mean lifetime of a proton $>2.1×10^{29}$ years (stable) Obviously this means practically nothing happens to a proton, but what does ...
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681 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 ...
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504 views

Why muonium is unstable?

This question is closely related to my previous question Bound states in QED. Muonium is a system of electron and anti-muon. This article in wikipedia claims that muonium is unstable. QUESTION: Why ...
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809 views

What if LHC finds SUSY?

Here and on many other forums and blogs people ask the question "What if LHC does not find SUSY?". I would like to ask the opposite. What if it finds it? What would the implications be? Is it going to ...
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831 views

How can neutrinos oscillate though the lepton flavors have differing masses?

Since the total mass-energy for the neutrino presumably does not change when a neutrino changes lepton flavor, though the mass is different, what compensates for the gain or loss of mass? Does the ...
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626 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 ...
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203 views

What are particle multiplets in the Standard Model?

The particles of the standard model are often displayed in groupings known as multiplets. I know that this somehow relates to the underlying symmetries of the standard model, which can be viewed as ...
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474 views

Is everything made of massless particles?

Photons have no mass. Yet they interact gravitationally, as all energy does, with other energetic and massive particles. This means that if you put multiple photons in a system, you get something that ...
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164 views

Charge of the muon

In the Wikipedia article of Muon, it says ...with unitary negative electric charge of roughly -1 and a spin of 1/2, What are they trying to convey with the "roughly"? Aren't the allowed values ...
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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 ...
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370 views

Why are higher generation of matter unstable?

My secondary school physics textbook has mentioned that protons and neutrons are made up of down and up quarks in different amounts. It has also mentioned that other quarks exist. It states that ...
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628 views

Is the Higgs mechanism a fundamental interaction?

Is the Higgs mechanism a fundamental interaction of the same standing as the strong, weak and electromagnetic interactions? If not, is it mediated by the weak interaction? It seems that all the ...
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564 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 ...
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319 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 ...
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548 views

What is the fastest process or shortest time in nature?

We know about some events that happen very quickly. For example, the dielectric relaxation time is about $10^{-14}\, \mathrm{seconds}$. I'm interested in other processes that switch extremely fast ...
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What actually happens when an anti-matter projectile collides with matter?

I'm trying to understand what would really happen when large quantities (e.g., 10g) of anti-matter collide with matter. The normal response is that they'd annihilate each other and generate an ...
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163 views

Rank of the Poincare group

There are two Casimirs of the Poincare group: $$ C_1 = P^\mu P_\mu, \quad C_2 = W^\mu W_\mu $$ with the Pauli-Lubanski vector $W_\mu$. This implies the Poincare group has rank 2. Is there a way to ...
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597 views

Why do leptons and quarks mix?

Is the fact that weak eigenstates are not mass eigenstates completely arbitrary? Or is there a deeper reason for the existence of the PMNS and CKM matrices?
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86 views

Would a high energy bottom quark 'decay' to a top quark?

The reason for the long life time of $B$-hadrons is that the CKM element $|V_{tb}| > 0.999$, meaning that the preferred decay of the $b$-quark is to a $t$-quark (and vice versa). However because ...
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What does spin 0 mean exactly?

I heard two definitions: (1) Spin 0 means that the particle has spherical symmetry, without any preferred axis. (2) The spin value tells after which angle of rotation the wave function returns to ...
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343 views

What properties of Germanium make it suitable for Dark Matter detectors?

What properties of Germanium make it suitable for Dark Matter detectors? I tried googling but there was too many results describing the use of Germanium Chrystals at low tempretures for Dark Matter ...
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2k views

What is the significance of the QCD scale parameter $\Lambda$?

I see that it appears as a constant in the relation for the running of the strong coupling constant. What is its significance? Does it have to be established by experiment? Is it somehow a scale for ...
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169 views

$\Delta^+$ decay in GZK process

The dominant channels in the GZK process are $$p+\gamma_{\rm CMB}\to\Delta^+\to p+\pi^0,$$ $$p+\gamma_{\rm CMB}\to\Delta^+\to n+\pi^+.$$ According to the pdg, $\Delta\to N+\pi$ makes up essentially ...
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95 views

Superconformal Multiplet Calculus in 6D

A convenient method for dealing with off-shell formulations of supergravity theories is provided by the superconformal multiplet calculus. This calculus was originally constructed for 4d ${\cal N}=2$ ...
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640 views

What is a quark condensate?

What is a quark condensate? is it a bound state between 2 quarks? can we have 3(or more)-quarks condensate? What mediates the interaction between the constituents of the condensate? Are the ...
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Does the equivalence between inertial and gravitational mass imply anything about the Higgs mechanism?

For example: the role it might play in a theory of quantum gravity (ie causing space-time curvature)? I realize that inertial mass can result from binding energy alone. Has the equivalence principle ...
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87 views

B-meson naming convention

An unbarred $B$-meson contains $\bar{b}$ (an anti-bottom quark), whereas a barred $\bar{B}$-meson contains $b$ (a bottom quark). What is the historical reason for this hellish naming convention?
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230 views

Is there literature on a continuous mass spectrum for the Higgs field?

Various masses for the Higgs field are compatible with experiment, but is it possible that the Higgs field is not observable because it has a continuous mass spectrum? Work in the 60s and 70s on free ...
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365 views

Nambu-Goldstone bosons from a quantum anomaly symmetry breaking?

We know that: Nambu-Goldstone bosons come from Goldstone theorem: a spontaneous (continuous)-symmetry breaking of the system leads to massless scalar modes. quantum anomaly: is the anomalous ...
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686 views

why is there no ninth gluon?

A teacher of mine told me once that there were no ninth gluon because such a one should be white and interact infinitely far, and no one has been observed. Is there also a theoretical reason?
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How to distinguish high-energetic muons and electrons in the CMS and ATLAS muon detectors?

At a typical energy of about 100 GeV, a muon has a Lorentz factor of about 1000, an electron about 200.000. The flight time to the detector should be around 30 ns (assuming d= 10m from the collision ...
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515 views

What's with Mandelstam's argument that only linear regge trajectories are stable?

While thinking about how to answer a "describe string theory" question, I remembered an old argument of Stanley Mandelstam's that linear Regge trajectories implies stability. I never fully understood ...
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$t\bar{t}$ asymmetry

Some weeks ago, there was lots of talk about this CDF paper: Evidence for a Mass Dependent Forward-Backward Asymmetry in Top Quark Pair Production where they measured a much higher asymmetry than ...
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A moderate introduction to Hanbury Brown Twiss interferometry in particle physics

For astronomy, as originally invented, the Hanbury Brown Twiss interferometer is good for finding the angular diameter of stars and is not a rapidly fluctuating observable like the amplitude in ...
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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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status of +4/3 scalar as explanation of $t\bar t$ asymmetry

One of the early proposals for the Tevatron asymmetry on $t \bar t$ was a "fundamental diquark" with a charge (and hypercharge) +4/3, either in a triplet or a sextet colour. I am interested on the ...
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How come the universe is made of matter and not antimatter?

Antimatter is like matter on opposite day: it has the same properties as the stuff that makes up planets, stars and galaxies, but one vital piece is different—its charge. The universe supposedly ...
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Has every possible interaction between elementary particles been observed?

There are some interactions that are forbidden by conservation laws, e.g. an electron cannot turn into a positron by conservation of charge and a photon cannot turn into a positron electron pair by ...
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Can one create mass from energy?

Due to $ E =m c^2 $, one can convert mass to energy. A classic example would be matter/anti-matter annihilation to produce energy (photons, etc.). Can one do the reverse? So could one do something to ...
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About free quarks and confinement

I simply know that a single free quark does not exist. What is the reason that we can not get a free quark? If we can't get a free quark then what is single-top-quark?
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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 do we need to find 5 Higgs Bosons to prove the existence of the dark matter?

I was recently watching a show that say we need at least 5 Higgs Boson to prove the existence of the dark matter because it will strengthen the concept of symmetry. Why is that so? Because, I am not ...
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Is it possible to create a new element that doesn't exist in the universe?

When I say something new I do not refer to something already made like H,O etc and when I mean something new I do not refer to a transformation like tritium to helium and gold. If so how ?(I mean is ...
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What's with the very slightly larger mass of the neutron compared to the proton?

Neutron mass: 1.008664 u Proton mass: 1.007276 u Why the discrepancy? On a related note, how does one go about measuring the mass of a neutron or proton, anyway?
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If atoms never “physically” touch each others, then how does matter-antimatter annihilation happen?

It is known that matter and antimatter annihilate each others when they "touch" each others. And as far as I know, the concept of "touching" as our brain gets it is not true on the atomic level since ...
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242 views

What are the main differences between $p p$ and $p \bar p$ colliders

I know that it is somehow related to the parton distribution functions, allowing specific reactions with gluons instead of quarks and anti-quarks, but I would really appreciate more detailed answers ! ...
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Does a particle annihilate only with its antiparticle? If yes, why?

Or to put the question another way - what is the result of a proton-positron collision, or an up quark-charm antiquark collision, etc.? As far as I know, annihilation happens only between particles of ...
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Was the Higgs mass correctly predicted by asymptotic safety of gravity?

This paper was published in Phys Lett B in 2009, and predicted the Higgs mass to be 126 GeV based on the asymptotic safety of gravity. Is this prediction taken seriously by the theory community, or is ...
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What does the data in various stages of analysis from a particle collision look like?

I've been following the news around the work they are doing at the LHC particle accelerator in CERN. I am wondering what the raw data that is used to visualize the collisions looks like. Maybe someone ...