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17
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3answers
1k views

Are elementary particles actually more elementary than quasiparticles?

Quarks and leptons are considered elementary particles, while phonons, holes, and solitons are quasiparticles. In light of emergent phenomena, such as fractionally charged particles in fractional ...
16
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4answers
2k views

Can one obtain free energy from the vacuum?

It is known that from the vacuum of a quantum field theory, virtual particle pairs are created and destroyed; is it possible to capture these particles thus obtaining free energy from the vacuum?
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Phase shifts in scattering theory

I have been studying scattering theory in Sakurai's quantum mechanics. The phase shift in scattering theory has been a major conceptual and computational stumbling block for me. How (if at all) does ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

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. ...
9
votes
1answer
250 views

Why are there no particles in conformal theories?

In Matt Strassler's recent post (here) he makes the statement that scale invariant (I assume he means conformally invariant, more generally) theories have no particles in them. What's the reason for ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
8
votes
6answers
857 views

What is the meaning of the word “particle” in particle physics?

I want to use Matt Strassler's definition of the word "particle" as a specific example: Matt Strassler writes: (1) "...all the elementary “particles” (i.e. quanta) of nature are quanta of waves ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Standard Deviation in Particle Physics

I'm familiar with sigma, and how its usually calculated and used, but would like to know how it's applied to particle physics. I recall reading that the discovery of the Higgs would only be credible ...
8
votes
1answer
530 views

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?
7
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3answers
279 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
351 views

Is there Bremsstrahlung radiation for a charged massless particle?

This is a follow up question from: Massless charged particles Since by definition such a particle would interact with photons- resulting in some change in momentum- would the particle emit ...
6
votes
3answers
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?
6
votes
2answers
97 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
258 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
178 views

If electrons behave as standing waves when they are bound to an atom then how do they carry charge?

Today in my physics lesson we learnt that the best way of describing the behaviour of an electron that is bound to an atom is to treat it as a standing wave. I understand that this is the ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why can't massless particle exceed speed of light?

Why massless particle can't exceed speed of light?
6
votes
1answer
321 views

Unusual particle effects at CERN

In 2010 there were press reports that CERN had identified unusual properties in particle behavour in collisions. One link here. Here is a partial quote: "In some sense, it's like the particles talk ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Magnetic force doesn't do work and therefore can't change the KE of a particle?

I am having a real hard time understanding the principles behind a question I've come across during test prep. Here is the question: Q: A proton and an electron are traveling in the uniform ...
5
votes
2answers
787 views

Do particles and anti-particles attract each other?

Do particles and anti-particles attract each other? From the very basic understanding that they are created out of nothing mutually and collide to annihilate each other seems to indicate this happens ...
5
votes
5answers
699 views

The observation of a non-SM resonance at 38 MeV

Was reported here. Of course if this is real it is very exciting. It leads me to the question: given that it took so long to find this resonance at a meager 38 MeV, is it possible that all SUSY ...
5
votes
6answers
472 views

What needs to happen for one to ingest radioactive particles and how likely is this?

There are many stories about radioactivity and the relative danger of it in the news lately, but very little actual information. The radioactivity levels around Fukushima Daiichi are high, but seem ...
5
votes
2answers
245 views

Is ch. 2, sect. 4 of The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. 1 still accurate?

The chapter 2 section 4 of volume 1 is on nuclei and particles. Here are a few things that trouble me. Dr. Feynman says that Another most interesting change in the ideas and philosophy of science ...
5
votes
2answers
357 views

What if a faster-than-light particle is found?

What will be the consequence (severe ones) on laws of physics if a particle that travels faster than light is discovered? I am looking for a more general answer so that a high school student would be ...
5
votes
2answers
145 views

How do collisions of fundamental particles produce different fundamental particles?

When considering fundamental particles as waves in fields, it seems like any collision of two particles of some fundamental type could only create energy within that type's field. Why do we expect ...
5
votes
1answer
899 views

Confusion between the de Broglie wavelength of a particle and wave packets

So I learned that the de Broglie wavelength of a particle, $\lambda = \frac{h}{p}$, where h is Planck's constant and p is the momentum of the particle. I also learned that a quantum mechanics ...
4
votes
6answers
829 views

Good book about elementary particles for high school students?

I need a good book about elementary particles. I am a high school student and don't want anything to technical. I read a brief history of time and the universe in a nutshell but i want something that ...
4
votes
1answer
174 views

Temporal part of Quantum Wavefunction

I was hoping that someone could give me the more fundamental reason that we take as the temporal part of a quantum wavefunction the function $e^{-i\omega t}$ and not $e^{+i\omega t}$? Clearly ...
4
votes
2answers
515 views

What is the “shape” of atomic/subatomic particles?

I apologize in advance for my ignorance if this is a question with an obvious answer... I am not experienced in this field. But are such particles in the universe points with a charge, or are they ...
4
votes
1answer
946 views

Why does lambda decay violate parity?

When a lambda particle decays into proton and a pion, I am told it does not conserve parity. Why?
4
votes
2answers
46 views

Do mechanical waves travel in straight lines?

Electromagnetic waves travel in straight lines but do all waves travel in straight lines?
4
votes
1answer
554 views

Does the speed of sand flow in a hourglass depend on a height of a sand column above the hourglass neck?

In a hourglass, does the sand flow through the neck depend on the amount of sand in the upper glass? If we consider a sand flow analogous to fluid flow, then it should depend linearly, but in that ...
4
votes
2answers
142 views

What information is lost in the symmetrization necessary to derive the BBGKY hierarchy?

The book on Kinetic theory I'm reading derives the BBGKY hierarchy after introducing the reduced distribution functions $f_s(q^1,p_1,q^2,p_2,\dots,q^s,p_s):=\int\ \rho\ \ \mathrm d q^{s+1} \mathrm d ...
4
votes
2answers
259 views

Higgs boson and quasiparticles

Do we know exactly the difference between particles and quasiparticles? Is Higgs boson a particle or a quasiparticle? I ask this because if I understood well, Higgs boson created by a spontaneaous ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

are particles “knots” or “kinks” of excitation in a field?

this is my mental picture for how they travel without a medium, how (like water waves) some can't stay still, why they have wave and particle properties, energy/mass equivalence, conservation, etc. ...
3
votes
4answers
167 views

is the Z boson one entity or are there as many entities as decay pairs, but they are equivalent and lumped together

just wondering if it is a distinction without a difference - it seeming a bit weird that one thing can decay into different things.
3
votes
3answers
130 views

Will the current carrying solid conductors emit light?

If we pass current through a gas, like in the discharge tube, the electrons will accelerate in the electric field. The accelerated electrons will collide with gas molecules, and transfer some of their ...
3
votes
3answers
522 views

Existence of creation and annihilation operators

In a multiple particle Hilbert space (any space of any multi-particle system), is it sufficient to define creation and annihilation operators by their action (e.g. mapping an n-particle state to an ...
3
votes
2answers
161 views

How can Sub-Atomic Particles be Visualized?

Can you see or accurately visualise sub atomic particles or are they known only by maths and/or inference?
3
votes
2answers
176 views

Understanding a Physics Paper on Quantum Teleportation of Continuous variables

The paper I am trying to understand is here: http://pra.aps.org/abstract/PRA/v49/i2/p1473_1 The paper describes the quantum teleportation protocol in a general case with continuous dynamical ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Speed of a particle in quantum mechanics: phase velocity vs. group velocity

Given that one usually defines two different velocities for a wave, these being the phase velocity and the group velocity, I was asking their meaning for the associated particle in quantum mechanics. ...
3
votes
2answers
337 views

Particles vs Waves

As I remember long ago, in my physics classes, I always had a great trouble understanding the concept of waves. Our professor used to explain, as if everything in this world is made up of waves. ...
3
votes
3answers
996 views

What is lepton number?

What exactly is a lepton number of a particle? With the charge (eg proton is just 1, not the exact charge), I can understand because it's a physical property, put a particle with charge + next to ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

What is the $t\bar{t}$ production supposed to bring up

The $t\bar{t}$ production, I've read, that will somehow confirm the QCD and might bring up new physics. Why are we studying $t\bar{t}$ production from $p-p$ collisions at the LHC? What are we trying ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Writing wave functions with spin of a system of particles

Suppose I have 2 fermions in a potential $V(x)$. Both particles are moving in one dimension: the $x$ axis. Then, neglecting the interaction between the particles, the spatial wave function of the ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Convolving Parton Distribution Functions

I have the cross-sections as a function of $\sqrt{s}$ for a process with a $u$-quark and $u$-antiquark in the initial state (eg.: $u \bar{u} \to e^- e^+$). I have a standard parton distribution ...
3
votes
0answers
34 views

Alternative ways to take particle tracks photographs in a cloud chamber

I know that the most common type of particle tracks photography is in photographic plates, but i'm using a cloud chamber and I would like to know if there are alternative ways to take photographs of ...
3
votes
0answers
216 views

what interactions would take place between a free proton and a dipolariton?

What interactions can be expected to take place between a free proton and a dipolariton, (a) at high energies and (b) at lower energies? A dipolariton is a bosonic quasi-particle mentioned in a ...
2
votes
3answers
9k views

How to deduce E=(3/2)kT?

It says in my course notes that a particle has so-called "kinetic energy" $E=\frac{3}{2}kT=\frac{1}{2}mv^²$ Where does this formula come from? What is k?
2
votes
3answers
806 views

What entities create a gravitational field?

It is well known that masses create a gravitational field. Photons are affected by gravitation, but do they generate a gravitational field as well? What about the other gauge bosons? Do gravitons ...
2
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2answers
301 views

Some very basic questions on the Higgs Boson

What exactly is a boson? Is the Higgs boson the cause of gravity or a result of it? Does the collision of particles at the LHC create a gravity field or waves or somehow interact with the gravity ...