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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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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335 views

Did the Feynman heuristic of “simple effects have simple causes” fail for spin statistics?

Someone here recently noted that "The spin-statistics thing isn't a problem, it is a theorem (a demonstrably valid proposition), and it shouldn't be addressed, it should be understood and celebrated." ...
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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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440 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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263 views

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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What future technologies does particle physics and string theory promise? [closed]

What practical application can we expect from particle physics a century or two from now? What use can we make of quark-gluon plasmas or strange quarks? How can we harness W- and Z-bosons or the Higgs ...
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346 views

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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547 views

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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469 views

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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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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650 views

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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392 views

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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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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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?
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597 views

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 ...
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824 views

How can a point-particle have properties?

I have trouble imagining how two point-particles can have different properties. And how can finite mass, and finite information (ie spin, electric charge etc.) be stored in 0 volume? Not only that, ...
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206 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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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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Left and Right-handed fermions

Is there a simple intuitive way to understand the difference between left-handed and right-handed fermions (electrons say)? How to experimentally distinguish between them?
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161 views

Do gamma matrices form a basis?

Do the four gamma matrices form a basis for the set of matrices $GL(4,\mathcal{C})$? I was actually trying to evaluate a term like $\gamma^0 M^\dagger \gamma^0$ in a representation independent way, ...
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760 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 ...
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433 views

How can there be a quantum field theory that predicts all particle masses?

Say I have a theory with only one (energy) scale, e.g. one given by the fundamental constants $$\epsilon=\sqrt{\dfrac{\hbar c^5}{G}}.$$ In this case, where I can't compare to something else, is ...
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48 views

Are lens spaces classified via a Weinberg angle?

I am thinking about Kaluza Klein theory in the 3 dimensional lens spaces. These have an isometry group SU(2)xU(1), generically, and in some way interpolate between the extreme cases of manifolds $S^2 ...
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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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why certain superpositions of quantum states are supressed?

it has been said that the electron is the fundamental representation of the Poincare group, with only two conmuting observables, $( \sigma , p_{\mu})$. This question regards what is usually called the ...
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Precise statement of Mermin–Wagner theorem

Roughly speaking, Mermin-Wagner theorem states that continuous symmetries cannot be spontaneously broken at finite temperature in systems with sufficiently short-range interactions in dimensions ...
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322 views

Why does $\mathcal L = -\frac14 F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu}$ imply Photons are massless?

The Lagrangian $\mathcal L = -\frac14 F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu}$ with $F_{\mu\nu} = \partial_\mu A_\nu - \partial_\nu A_\mu$ results in the four-potential's equation of motion $$ \underbrace{\partial^\mu ...
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481 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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339 views

Did CDMS identify dark matter?

A recent paper by the CDMS collaboration (PRL here and free text here) makes this statement in the abstract: This blind analysis of 140.2 kg day of data taken between July 2007 and September 2008 ...
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442 views

How do I know the proton isn't made of 3 anti-down quarks?

I have a proton, how do I know that it is made of 2 up quarks and 1 down quark or if it is made of 3 anti-down quarks, each with different color charges? This question is also applicable to the ...
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173 views

Baryogenesis only at the Planck scale, or none at all?

I can think of three general ways of explaining why the universe contains more matter than antimatter: (1) Near the Planck time, the universe had zero baryon asymmetry, but at some later time, ...
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856 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 ...
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510 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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333 views

Dynamical supersymmetry breaking and Witten index

Witten index, defined as ${\rm Tr}(-1)^F$, makes know if supersymmetry is spontaneously broken or not for a given model. But it is known that supersymmetry can be also broken dynamically and one can ...
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Proton Radius Puzzle, Is it possible that proton's radius differ depending on how you measure it? What does that even mean?

I just read this NewScientist article, and I was stunned by its results. So I found the original paper here on arxiv. In the introduction of the paper it is stated: The recent determination of ...
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134 views

Is broken supersymmetry compatible with a small cosmological constant?

I understand that we can find the energy of a bosonic field in its vacuum state via $E_{vac}^{(B)} = \sum_{\vec{k},s} \frac{1}{2}\hbar\omega_{\vec{k},s}^{(B)}$ and a fermionic one similarly, ...
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Weinberg angle measurement methods

I was reading up on the history of $W/Z$ bosons today and I got a little puzzled. I always assumed that people measured $M_Z$ and $M_W$ and then derived the Weinberg angle. But it appears that they ...
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580 views

Is there a connection between the fluctuation-dissipation theorem and the Green–Kubo relations?

Is there a connection between the fluctuation-dissipation theorem and the Green–Kubo relations? I have a hard time finding out if there is a relation and what it is, because the ...
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521 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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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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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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375 views

What if the binding energy becomes larger than the rest mass?

Looking at the equation for binding energy and mass defect, $$ B = m_{\text{free}} - m_{\text{bound}} \\ \Rightarrow m_{\text{bound}} = m_{\text{free}} - B, $$ my question is the following. Suppose ...
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353 views

Decay of SUSY particles

In discussion of LHC searches for SUSY particles, physicists seem to assume they will decay quickly to the lightest SUSY particle which then remains stable (at least within the time it takes to leave ...
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235 views

Anti-matter as matter going backwards in time? (requesting further clarification upon a previous post)

I understand this question has already been asked here, however, I don't have enough reputation points to place a comment (I suppose that's the reason) on a specific answer to request a reference. A ...
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123 views

Is the LEP B meson asymmetry evidence for higher dimensions and/or string theory?

According to this blog, new standard model calculations have changed the 3 sigma B meson forward and backward production asymmetry observed at LEP into two anomolies: A 2.5 sigma B meson production ...
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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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Lie algebra of axial charges

Starting from the lagrangian (linear sigma model without symmetry breaking, here $N$ is the nucleon doublet and $\tau_a$ are pauli matrices) $L=\bar Ni\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu N+ \frac{1}{2} ...