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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Can the weak force create a bound state?

My understanding is that the exchange of Z bosons could yield an attractive or repulsive "force" between two fermions. For most combinations the electromagnetic or strong interactions will take place. ...
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443 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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52 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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339 views

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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554 views

Why is the decay of a neutral rho meson into two neutral pions forbidden?

Why is the decay of a neutral rho meson into two neutral pions forbidden? (Other modes of decay are possible though.) Is it something with conservation of isospin symmetry or something else? Please ...
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250 views

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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341 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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531 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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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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694 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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200 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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960 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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181 views

If particles are excitations what are their fields?

After reading these : http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/article/july-2013/real-talk-everything-is-made-of-fields http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=682522 It was clear to me that all ...
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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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376 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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536 views

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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150 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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406 views

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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621 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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406 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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369 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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309 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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126 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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227 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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124 views

What is chirality?

I actually wanted to make the title as "What is the difference between chirality and helicity"? But I didn't do that because I don't understand properly what chirality is. I have gone through this ...
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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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294 views

Where is the “true” Higgs if the LHC 125 GeV signal is rather a higher dimensional radion than a SM Higgs?

In this article, Lumo introduces and explains the idea (presented by the original authors in this paper) that the LHC signal at about 125 GeV could alternatively be interpreted as a higher ...
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69 views

Are mesons color polarized?

The binding of quarks in mesons baffles me. It's an Occam's Razor thing. Since a meson is a colorless, the simplest way to bind its two quarks together is to use a $U(1)$ Cartan subalgebra of ...
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234 views

Parton showering in Pythia 6 Monte Carlo generator

I have Pythia Monte Carlo (MC) samples where I can't understand the parton showering model. If I print out full decay chains from the events, each event contains multiple string objects with pdgId 92. ...
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834 views

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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171 views

What is the difference and similarities between Stueckelberg mechanism and Higgs mechanism?

What is the difference and similarities between Stueckelberg mechanism and Higgs mechanism? They both make the gauge field massive. Is the Stueckelberg mechanism a special case about U(1) gauge fields ...
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263 views

Possible implications of Quark Quartet

Today on Nature's website appeared a news about the discovery of a quark quartet (formed from two quarks and two antiquarks). They say that this particle containing four quarks is confirmed. This is ...
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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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336 views

How well is the $\rho$ and $\omega$ coupling universality measured?

Is there any good recent experimental data that tests whether the $\rho$ coupling constant depends only on the isospin multiplet of the produced particle? EDIT: I got a downvote, so I should explain ...
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484 views

Are the rest masses of fundamental particles certainly constants?

In particular I am curious if the values of the rest masses of the electron, up/down quark, neutrino and the corresponding particles over the next two generations can be defined as constant or if ...
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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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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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How are neutrons produced from cosmic ray particles?

What are the details of how neutrons are produced as a result of cosmic ray particles hitting our planet's atmosphere? For instance, what is the pathway that creates the highest number of neutrons ...
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Why does electron-positron annihilation prefer to emit photons?

If gravitons are massless, and neutrinos nearly so, why aren't pairs of either of them normally expected products of electron-positron annihilations? Are they possible but simply unlikely, or is there ...
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942 views

How can some-one independently do research in particle physics?

I'm not affiliated with a physics department and I want to do independent research. I'm working my way through Peskin et. al. QFT now. Let's say that I've finished Peskin et. al. and Weinberg QFT ...
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516 views

Is there a maximum number of types of elementary particles?

Doing a Google search i found a paper called The maximum number of elementary particles in a super symmetric extension of the standard model. It claims in the abstract that the upper bound is 84 (i ...
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296 views

References on the non-compositeness of the known elementary particles

What paper(s) or theory(s) describe or prove that the elementary particles that we have determined today cannot be made up of smaller more fundamental particles?
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What allows the modified Urca process to work at lower density than direct Urca in neutron star cooling?

The dominant method of neutron star cooling is neutrino emission. There are two regimes usually presented, the "direct Urca" and "modified Urca" processes, each of which are sequences of neutron decay ...
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Are there any Meson colliders?

There are no stable mesons as far as I know. Are there any meson-colliders analogous to for example proton-proton colliders?
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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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946 views

What is the relationship between string net theory and string / M-theory?

I've just learned from this one of Prof. Wen's answers that there exists a theory called string net theory. Since I've never heard about this before it picks my curiosity, so I`d like to ask some ...
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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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444 views

Origin of lepton/quark generations?

What theoretical explanations exist for the fact that there are three generations of leptons and quarks? I'm not so much asking why there are exactly 3 generations, but rather what makes electron, ...
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710 views

How are the masses of unstable elementary particles measured?

I am interested in knowing how (Q1) the particle's masses are experimentally determined from accelerator observations. What kind of particles? They must be as far as we know elementary and unstable ...