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 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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523 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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278 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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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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298 views

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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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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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 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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284 views

How detectors in particle colliders can differentiate neutrons from antineutrons?

Their mass is the same. None of them interacts with EM fields. And their decay (around 1000s) is far too slow to see their decay products yet in the detector. How is it then possible to differentiate ...
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662 views

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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3k 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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671 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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876 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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256 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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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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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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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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2k views

How deep can my knowledge of particle physics go without the maths?

By no means do I have the mathematical background to understand most of the math used in elementary particle physics. My current knowledge is of all the elementary particles and how they interact ...
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464 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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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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715 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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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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413 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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CP Violation of the CKM Matrix

Considering the relation between the $SU(2)_{WEAK}$ partners of the $|u \rangle$, $|c \rangle$, and $|t \rangle$ mass eigenstates and the corrseponding downtype eigenstates $ \left( ...
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Production of antiproton at the Tevatron

The Tevatron is a proton-antiproton collider; it collides a beam of protons against a beam of antiproton. I can understand how we obtain the protons, but for the antiprotons ? How are they produced ? ...
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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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909 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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424 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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535 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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735 views

Adjoint representations and bosons

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

Is there a fundamental particle that gives rise to energy?

I was wondering if there exist a particle analogous to the Higgs boson that gives rise to energy, I´m sorry it´s not the big question but I feel confused about how the universe works, also I have been ...
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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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Charge neutrality of the Universe: evidences and theories

I've always wondered why the number of protons in the Universe exactly matches the number of electrons. They are such different particles with totally different cross sections. So, first of all, is ...
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585 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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175 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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454 views

What is meant by the phrase “the mass is protected by a symmetry”?

In a particle physics context I've heard this phrase used. I guess it means that the mass of a particle is less than you'd naively expect from $E=mc^2$ after computing the momentum uncertainty ...
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301 views

Weak contribution to nuclear binding

Does the weak nuclear force play a role (positive or negative) in nuclear binding? Normally you only see discussions about weak decay and flavour changing physics, but is there a contribution to ...
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75 views

Can an elementary particle be reduced to its properties?

For instance, is an up quark merely its particular mass, 2/3 electrical charge and 1/2 spin? I was wondering if there was a 1:1 correspondence with a particle and its properties, but I noticed a gluon ...
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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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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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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 ...