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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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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911 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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374 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 ...
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546 views

Are there really left-chiral particles?

A chiral eigenstate is always a linear combination of a particle and an antiparticle state and a particle or antiparticle state is always a linear combination of chiral eigenstates. Now, how can we ...
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231 views

Why do fermions come in generations, but not bosons?

Why does the $1/2$ spin of fundamental fermions (electrons, quarks, and neutrinos) split them into three variants that differ only in mass, while the integer spins of massless fundamental bosons (e.g. ...
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659 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) = ...
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112 views

Higgs Field - Is its discovery truly “around the corner”?

Rather surprised I haven't seen many questions or discussion regarding the rumored confirmation of the Higgs field. As I understand it, the energies where they saw things were actually quite a bit ...
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2k 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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146 views

ATLAS Higgs Interpretation

I came across this abstract, and I am curious as to what the ATLAS Team has actually discovered: Abstract Motivated by the result of the Higgs boson candidates at LEP with a mass of about ...
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What are quarks made of?

So atoms are formed from protons and neutrons, which are formed from quarks. But where do these quarks come from? What makes them?
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7answers
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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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768 views

Why couldn't the decay $\pi^- \to e^- + \bar\nu_e$ occur if electrons were massless?

If we assume that electrons (just like neutrinos) are massless, why can’t the decay $\pi^- \rightarrow e^- + \bar{\nu}_e$ occur under the weak interaction?
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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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How Did Paul Dirac Predict The Existence of Antiproton?

The existence of the antiproton with -1 electric charge, opposite to the +1 electric charge of the proton, was predicted by Paul Dirac in his 1933 Nobel Prize lecture. Quotation by Wikipedia. ...
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If matter and antimatter repel, how do we know other galaxies aren't made of antimatter? [duplicate]

Wikipedia's article on antimatter says this: There is considerable speculation as to why the observable universe is composed almost entirely of ordinary matter, as opposed to a more even mixture ...
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1k 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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980 views

How was the Oh-My-God particle observed?

How exactly was the Oh-My-God particle (ultra-high energy cosmic ray) observed and its energy measured?
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4k views

Why is pseudorapidity defined as $-\log \tan \theta/2$

Why the log? Is it there to make the growth of the function slower? As this is a common experimental observable, it doesn't seem reasonable to take the range from $[0,\infty)$ to $(-\infty,\infty)$ ...
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201 views

Observed composition of UHE cosmic rays

How much is known about the composition of ultra high energy cosmic rays (say $E>10^{20}\text{ eV}$)? I get the impression that the particles are often assumed to be protons or other heavier ...
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How can we speak use the notion of “particle” in LHC, given that we live in a curved spacetime?

I understood from lectures that the metric of a spacetime was absolute: It does not depend upon the test charge we put inside. Indeed, all the calculation our professor carried out were independent of ...
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574 views

Are right handed neutrinos actually antineutrinos and vice versa?

Is it experimentally ruled out that right-handed neutrinos are actually antineutrinos, and left-handed antineutrinos are neutrinos ?
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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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579 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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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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588 views

What are the main algorithms the LHC particle detectors use to reconstruct decay pathways?

I am just starting to look into how we understand the data from particle collisions. My question is, what are the algorithms or ways that these detectors interpret the data? Are there standard ...
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541 views

Why doesn't my particle simulation end in a flat disc?

I've made a 3d particle simulator where particles are attracted to each other by the inverse of the square radius. The purpose of my experiment is to see if this alone would create a flat disk (like ...
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Why should bosons be in the adjoint representation of the gauge group?

Is there a deep mathematical reason for why bosons should be in the adjoint representation of the gauge group rather than any other representation?
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566 views

Hawking radiation and quark confinement

The simple picture of Hawking radiation is that a pair-antiparticle pair is produced near the event horizon, then one falls into the black hole while the other escapes. Suppose the particles are ...
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481 views

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 ...
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What is the difference between 'running' and 'current' quark mass?

When looking at the PDG, there is a difference between the 'running' and the 'current' quark masses. Does anyone know which is the difference between these two?
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331 views

Why is fundamental physics taught in terms of particles?

According to this paper, there can be no relativistic quantum theory of localizeable particles ("relativity plus quantum mechanics exclusively requires a field ontology"). Sean Caroll has also argued ...
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420 views

The $U(1)$ charge of a representation

My question is about the reduction of a representation of a group $SU(5)$ to irreps of the subgroup $SU(3)\times SU(2) \times U(1)$. For example the weights of the 10 dimensional representation of ...
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235 views

Relating momentum fraction to rapidity in a high-energy collision

It's a well-known result in particle physics that in an underlying interaction like this: assuming $p_0^-,p_{0\perp},m_0\ll p_0^+$, $m_1$ and $m_2$ are small, but $p_{1\perp}$ and $p_{2\perp}$ are ...
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494 views

About defining “baryons” and “mesons”

I want to understand the proof of the claims (of the construction as well as of its uniqueness) of gauge singlet states given around equation 2.13 (page 10) of this paper. Also does the listing of ...
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Deriving Feynman rules from a Lagrangian for vertex factors for “more complicated” interactions

I am trying to derive Feynman rules from a given Lagrangian and I got stuck on some vertex factors. What for example is the vertex factor that corresponds to the four-scalar interaction that is ...
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369 views

Does the ruling out of TeV scale SUSY breaking disfavor grand unification?

One of the arguments in favor of TeV scale SUSY breaking is that it leads to the appropriate running of the gauge coupling strengths leading to grand unification, i.e. $k_Y = \frac{5}{3}$ instead of ...
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251 views

Are oscillations of electron chirality experimentally observable?

Is there any plausible experiment by which chirality oscillations in electrons could be observed experimentally, such as through some analogy to neutrino oscillation experiments?
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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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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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Can a third type of electrical charge exist?

Upon reading my book on physics, it mentions that there are only two discovered types of electric charges. I wonder if there could be a third type of elusive charge, and what type of effects could it ...
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Which is the smallest known particle that scientists have actually *seen with their eyes*? [closed]

Which is the smallest particle that has been actually seen by the scientists? When I say "actually seen", (may be using some ultra advanced microscope or any other man made eye, using any wavelength ...
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Why can't a single photon produce an electron-positron pair?

In reading through old course material, I found the assignment (my translation): Show that a single photon cannot produce an electron-positron pair, but needs additional matter or light quanta. ...
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Higgs boson and string theory

Assuming Higgs is found at 125 GeV.Is there any direct or indirect consequence on string theory ? Will it be a blow to string theory or models employing string theory ? ...
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1k views

Neutron to antiproton decay

Would it be possible for a neutron to lose a positron and become an antiproton? Or would would it need to be the decay of a antineutron to antiproton instead?
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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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Do particle accelerators produce (dangerous) radiation?

I was under the impression that particle accelerators were pretty harmless, but some article said that they produce harmful radiation when you're in the tunnel. Given that the Internet... isn't always ...
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353 views

Is particle number a problem for formulating statistical physics in a mathematically rigorous manner?

Quantities like the chemical potential can be expressed as something like $$\mu=-T\left(\tfrac{\partial S}{\partial N}\right)_{E,V}.$$ Now the entropy is the log some volume, which depends on the ...
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411 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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Is there an accepted analogy/conceptual aid for the Higgs field?

Is there an accepted analogy / conceptual aid for the Higgs field? In Physics there are many accepted conceptual aids such as * Schrödinger's cat * Maxwell's Demon * I'm sure I'm missing ...
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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 ...