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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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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750 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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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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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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318 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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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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2k views

What is the definition of colour (the quantum state)?

I heard somewhere that quarks have a property called 'colour' - what does this mean?
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9k views

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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1k views

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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506 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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507 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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286 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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358 views

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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141 views

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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4answers
883 views

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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867 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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361 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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673 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 ...
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Particle physics getting started

I know classical physics, quantum mechanics, special relativity, basic nuclear physics. I would like to get into some particle physics. I want to get into that higgs boson, lepton, quark things :D ...
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263 views

Could spontaneous symmetry breaking happen again in our universe?

It is generally believed that $10^{-35}$ seconds after the Big Bang, the symmetry of a GUT was broken and after $10^{-12}$ seconds the electroweak force was broken: \begin{equation} \mathrm{SU(2)} ...
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222 views

Compton Scattering

Compton Scattering essentially states that when a photon of a given wavelength hits an electron the energy level of the electron changes and the photon has its wavelength changed. This seems to be ...
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386 views

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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Deciding what to collide at particle accelerator

Different particle accelerators use different types of collisions. For instance at the LHC they investigated p Pb collisions while its predecessor (LEP), used to collide electrons with proton and at ...
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255 views

Is there a simple way to compute some physical constant from Feynman diagram statistics?

I've been playing around writing some software to generate Feynman diagrams for QED, respecting the vertex "rules" described here, and avoiding creating isomorphic duplicates. So from a starter ...
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223 views

Can the process $u\overline{u} \rightarrow s\overline{s}$ be mediated by the EM interaction?

I’m working on a homework problem which asks for the dominant contribution (e.g. EM, strong, or weak) to the process $p + \overline{p} \rightarrow \Lambda + \overline{\Lambda}$). I know that the EM ...
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140 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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397 views

Why decay of neutral Rho meson into two neutral Pions forbidden?

Why neutral rho meson decay into two neutral Pion forbidden? Can someone explain me in bit more detail? Although, other modes of decay are possible. Is it something with conservation of Isospin ...
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182 views

Could electrons be a form of antimatter?

I've played with this idea for years, and haven't really been able to eliminate it. So, perhaps someone here can point to simple experimental evidence that would do so. Here's the issue: Antimatter ...
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How deep can my knowledge of particle physics go without the maths?

Successfully just got my first question answered on here, and now time for the second. So I recently gained interest in particle physics and was wondering. By no means do I have the mathematical ...
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595 views

Origin of electric charge

Baryons have charges that are the result of a polynomial calculation of their building blocks (quarks)'s fractional charges. But what gives these quarks electric charges? What interactions do they ...
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726 views

How do we distinguish between virtual particle exchange and particle decay?

The difference between virtual particles and unstable particles is discussed at length in this question (namely, virtual particles correspond to internal lines in Feynman diagrams and are not ...
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165 views

Status of the little hierarchy problem

What is the current thinking on the little hierarchy problem in light of a potential Higgs mass above 120 GeV? A few years ago, at least, I remember various phenomenologists saying that this at least ...
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256 views

Is there a theoretical upper bound on the mass any new particles can have?

One possible outcome of the collision experiments at LHC is the discovery of new elementary particles with large mass. Is there a theoretical way to derive an upper bound on the mass of elementary ...
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468 views

What Would be the Experimental Signature of Composite Leptons?

So far, the quarks and leptons appear to be fundamental particles. But they're complicated enough that there's always been some speculation that they might be composite. What experimental evidence ...
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224 views

What is the percentage of useful energy do we get from matter-antimatter annihilation?

This is a theoretical question since we haven't made enough antimatter to try it in reality of course. But I am asking about the physics part in this. Also, by "useful energy" I mean the energy we ...
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438 views

What goes wrong when one tries to quantize a scalar field with Fermi statistics?

At the end of section 9 on page 49 of Dirac's 1966 "Lectures on Quantum Field Theory" he says that if we quantize a real scalar field according to Fermi statistics [i.e., if we impose Canonical ...
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378 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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280 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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125 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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49 views

How to find SUSY with near-degenerate masses?

In SUSY models, you can have the case that sparticles and their decay products have near-degenerate masses. For example $$ m(\tilde \chi^\pm_1) - m(\tilde \chi^0_1) < 1\,\mathrm{GeV}$$ Then in ...
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431 views

How to tell theoretically whether an electron behaves as wave or particle

I have seen many questions on SE on the dual nature of electrons behaving in certain circumstances as particles and as waves in some other circumstance. There is one thing I couldn't get a clear ...
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94 views

Measuring nucleons using electron beams

sorry if the question is too elementary. From: The Britannica Guide to Particle Physics: The sizes of atoms, nuclei, and nucleons are measured by firing a beam of electrons at an appropriate target. ...
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120 views

Importance of MHV amplitudes

Why are MHV amplitudes so important? How/where are they used and why do people keep trying to rederive them in many different ways?
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875 views

Proof of Yang's theorem

Yang's theorem states that a massive spin-1 particle cannot decay into a pair of identical massless spin-1 particles. The proof starts by going to the rest frame of the decaying particle, and relies ...
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46 views

Which arguments for $m_u \approx 0$ are still in the market?

The RPP note on quarks masses has traditionally carried, and it is still there, the comment that It is particularly important to determine the quark mass ratio mu/md, since there is no strong CP ...
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312 views

Is there an explanation for the 3:2:1 ratio between the electron, up and down quark electric charges?

I understand that the NNG formula relates $Q$, $I_3$, and $Y$ and can be derived in QCD; does this unambiguously predict the electric charge ratios without making assumptions about the definitions of ...
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454 views

Is there a concise-but-thorough statement of the Standard Model?

I’m a grad student in high-energy physics. I’m familiar enough with the Standard Model, but I’ve always wondered whether there existed a canonical statement of, effectively, “what we talk about when ...
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206 views

Has anyone actually produced any braided anyons (quasi-particles) yet? (quantum computer)

Quasiparticles theoretically can form braids on a 2D surface. The braids apparently are quite stable for reasonably long periods, allowing a superposition state more time before it decoheres through ...
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B-meson naming convention

An unbarred $B$-meson contains $\bar{b}$ (an anti-bottom quark), whereas a barred $\bar{B}$-meson contains $b$ (a bottom quark). What is the historical reason for this hellish naming convention?