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 is Photoproduction

I wonder what photoproduction means in the context of pion decay and vector meson dominance? What is the reaction formula, Feynman diagram for such a photoproduction thing? Is it simply a reaction ...
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1answer
64 views

Which types of particles are affected by the wave-particle duality?

If we take the double slit experiment as a way of demonstrating the wave-particle duality, which types of particles would show an interference pattern? For example, I know that electrons show such a ...
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70 views

Oscillations and Majorana Neutrino

In neutrino oscillations, neutrinos can convert from one flavor to another. This implies individual lepton number is not conserved. Doesn't it also imply that, if the neutrinos have mass, the mass ...
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2answers
144 views

Question about Majorana fermion and Majorana representation

In Chiral representation, a Majorana spinor looks like: $$\psi=\begin{pmatrix} \psi_L\\ -i\sigma^2\psi_L^*\end{pmatrix}$$ In this representation the Right handed field is the charge-conjugate of ...
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72 views

Confusion With Neutrino Oscillation

Neutrinos produced in the weak interaction are eigenstates of the weak interaction hamiltonian or flavor eigenstates. Right? If this is so, then $\nu_e,\nu_\mu,\nu_\tau$ should be the stationary ...
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230 views

Why do we have a TeV scale?

When model building we don't want to introduce any new scales into our theory. We usually try to have new particles at the Higgs (TeV) scale (to solve the hierarchy problem), at the GUT scale, or at ...
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2answers
73 views

Could Gamma ray bursts be caused by matter-antimatter annihilation?

As far as I know a collisions of matter and antimatter leads to the complete annihilation of both, whereby 100% of the rest mass of the particles is converted into gamma rays. Could this mechanism be ...
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34 views

Quantum distance ladder

There is a lecture on how facts about the cosmos can be derived form rather simple observation. Is there an analogy for the small scale? Is there a technically simple observation that would imply, ...
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94 views

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} ...
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2answers
77 views

Are leptons, baryons and energy the only products of radioactive decay?

I recently visited my child's elementary school to speak to a science classroom about rocks and minerals. While trying to explain what a crystal is, I got sloppy and mis-spoke that an atom was the ...
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2answers
126 views

Where is the Higgs Field?

Where is the Higgs Field? I get the idea of how it works but I couldn't find anything explaining where it is.
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2answers
47 views

Approximation of the energy for low $T$ in the early universe

In Perkins `Particle Physics', to compute the baryon-antibaryon-ratio, he uses that for $Mc^2\gg kT$: $$E= Mc^2 + \frac{p^2c^2}{2m}.$$ I realize that the approximation comes from $E^2=M^2c^4 + p^2c^2$ ...
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90 views

How does the Higgs Particle Decay?

Background: It is my understanding that the Higgs Boson is a fluctuation of the Higgs field. It also is not very stable and decays into a plethora of other particles. If all other particles interact ...
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1answer
290 views

Feynman diagram for pair production in matter

I'm aware that electron pair-production from a single photon requires the presence of matter — say some large nucleus — able to absorb momentum, as in the process \begin{align} N \gamma \rightarrow N ...
2
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1answer
105 views

Noether Charge Operators In Electroweak Theory

In electroweak theory, for the first generation of leptons, in the doublet $$\psi_L=\begin{pmatrix} \nu_{eL}\\ e_L \end{pmatrix}$$ we assign a non-abelian charge $I=\frac{1}{2}$. Is this a Noether ...
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2answers
85 views

Are particles solid?

My intuitive understanding is that although atoms are mostly empty space, the nucleus is solid. Thus a neutron or a neutrino can collide with it and do things like deflect or cause a nuclear ...
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2answers
140 views

What is the difference between a charged rho meson and a charged pion?

They both seem to have the same quark content: $$\rho^{+} = u\bar{d} = \pi^{+}$$ and $$\rho^{-} = \bar{u}d = \pi^{-}$$ What is different about the two?
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1answer
73 views

Problem evaluating $C^{-1}M^\dagger C$

How can I show the following? $$\overline{\psi_L}M^\dagger (\psi_L)^c=\overline{\psi_L}CM^\dagger\overline{\psi_L}^T$$ where $\psi^c=C\overline{\psi}^T$ and ...
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3answers
211 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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242 views

Propagator of a scalar in position space

In his lecture on Supersymmetry and Grand Unification, Leonard Susskind "derives" the propagator for a scalar field from dimensional analysis. He says for a particle going from $x$ to $y$ (where x and ...
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11 views

multiple frequency trapped power signal

is there any possibility to generate a waveform that consists of multiple power signals with different frequencies such that these signals travel together like they constitute [to form a ...
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2answers
30 views

x-ray in oil droplets experment

In oil droplet experiment, x-ray makes the air molecules negatively charged. How does that work? X-ray carries high energy and ionizes air, doesn't that make air positively charged?
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52 views

Writing Dirac Mass Term For Massive Neutrinos

How does one write down the following Dirac mass term for a collection of "massive" neutrinos? \begin{equation} -[\overline{(\psi_R)}M_D\psi_L+\overline{(\psi_L})M^\dagger_D\psi_R] \end{equation} I ...
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1answer
386 views

Majorana mass vs Dirac Mass

Why is it said that the Dirac mass term conserves the fermion number but the Majorana mass term does not? Can someone explain this mathematically? Which breakdown of symmetry is responsible for ...
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1answer
108 views

Renormalization and the Hierarchy Problem

The hierarchy problem is roughly: A scalar particle such as the Higgs receives quadratically divergent corrections, that have to cancel out delicately with the bare mass to give the observed Higgs ...
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2answers
120 views

Energy of quarks and the mass of the proton

We know that energy of quarks inside the proton can not be exactly fixed because if it,the 'proton decay' must not be exist. My question is if the energy of quarks inside the proton is not exactly ...
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2answers
99 views

Neutrinos and anti-neutrinos in the Standard Model

In standard model neutrinos and the left handed electron forms SU(2) doublet. What about the anti-neutrinos in the standard model? Do they also form some doublet? If neutrinos have tiny masses will ...
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6answers
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Is there any way to annihilate matter without the use of anti-matter?

Is there any way to annihilate matter without the use of anti-matter? And vice versa? I mean, for example is it possible to totally convert the mass of a proton into "pure energy" without use an ...
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2answers
86 views

Subatomic particle mass and Benford's Law

Nine out of 15 subatomic particle masses begin with the digit one. Benford's Law would imply 30% with one as the leading digit. Is there any significance to this frequency distribution, such as ...
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2answers
129 views

Increased likelihood of photon emission due to “nearby” absorber?

Is an excited atom more likely to emit a photon if there is a similar atom in the ground state nearby ready to absorb it? When I say "nearby" I guess I mean that the absorber has an approximately ...
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1answer
101 views

Little confusion in drawing Feynmam diagram

If the arrows of both the outgoing solid lines of the Feynman diagram corresponding to the bhabha scattering of $e^+$ and $e^-$, are just reversed, will it not describe same thing? Doesn't both imply ...
7
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1answer
173 views

Gauge fermions versus gauge bosons

Why are all the interactions particle of a gauge theory bosons. Are fermionic gauge boson field somehow forbidden by the theory ?
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1answer
52 views

Fusion of two neutrinos

What are the results of fusing an electron neutrino and a muon neutrino? If you have an answer, then why? I looked this up and searched for stuff on Google, Wikipedia and a few other sites, but all ...
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38 views

Particle physics conservation law checking tool

I'm just starting out with simple particle physics, and I'm doing a ton of exercises where I have to check if a certain reaction is allowed, from the point of lepton/baryon/energy conservation and ...
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1answer
155 views

Parity of proton is 1?

I have found from Wikipedia that "a parity transformation is the flip in the sign of spatial coordinates". Now when we operate parity operator, does that mean we are taking any physical entity at ...
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47 views

A question about particle scattering

For massless spin-1/2 fermions say $N$ I am using the spinors as given here say - http://theory.fnal.gov/people/ellis/Calctools/spinor.pdf - the $u_{+}(k)$ and $u_{-}(k)$ on page 2. So the $u_{+}(k)$ ...
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1answer
48 views

About muons, taus and the number of generations

there! Why cannot consider the muon or the tau just like excited states of the electron (and similarly, with the (u,d) (c,s) (t,b) pairs? I guess that it is related to the absence of decays like ...
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2answers
99 views

Do atoms have an outter shell or boundary?

Do atoms have boundaries or an outer shell? If so, how do photons react to it? Also, if not, then does the atom always have the same set of electrons or do the electrons keep on changing? What I mean ...
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132 views

Two distinguishable particles in a box

I would like to determine the number of energy states two free, distinguishable particles in a box of length $L$ have. I would then like to determine the number of states two free, indistinguishable ...
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1answer
103 views

Sterile Neutrinos and Supersymmetry

Just read a Scientific American review of a recent article which suggests evidence for sterile neutrinos: ...
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520 views

Does a muon detector on Earth's surface correctly measure the mean lifetime of a muon?

Just a simple question. Does a muon detector on Earth's surface correctly measure the mean lifetime of a muon? I would think the answer is no because most muons detected are created about 15 km above ...
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2answers
125 views

Do neutrinos not couple to the Higgs field?

I was reading the CernCourier, my favorite source of message on Higgs and friends. I was rather shocked, when I saw this: "The mechanism by which neutrino mass is generated is not known." What? ...
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350 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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31 views

Range Of An Interaction

Why is the Compton wavelength $\lambda_c=\frac{\hbar}{mc}$ used as a sensible measure for the range of an interaction, where m is the mass of the corresponding mediator?
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50 views

Isospin and weak Isospin

What is the difference between isospin and weak Isospin? What is the difference between hypercharge and weak hypercharge?
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2answers
181 views

If nature exhibits symmetry, why don't up and down quarks have equal magnitude of electric charge?

I always hear people saying symmetry is beautiful, nature is symmetric intrinsically, physics and math show the inherent symmetry in nature et cetera, et cetera. Today I learned that half of the ...
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53 views

Calculating the Neutron Stopping Power of complex materials

Is there a fast and convenient way of calculating the neutron stopping power of materials, consisting of multiple elements (e.g. doped crystals) without the need for Monte Carlo Simulation, that is ...
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1answer
126 views

Seesaws and Dark Energy

Lawrence Krauss and James Dent recently proposed a mechanism for producing the observed scale of dark energy. This proposal was inspired by the see-saw mechanism that produces light yet non-zero ...
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1answer
177 views

Orbital angular momentum of photon

People talk about orbital angular momentum (OAM) of photons. Is there some physical example that cannot be explained without assuming that photons have non-zero OAM? Does different photons have ...
5
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1answer
117 views

$\tau$ pair production question

There's a question on my homework about the process $e^{-} e^{+} \rightarrow \tau^{+} \tau^{-}$. Specifically, it is claimed that the minimum energy required of the colliding positron and electron ...