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From what I have understood while studying quantum and particle physics is that all the particles are excitations of their respective fields.

This makes me wonder if elementary particles like quarks can be converted back in to fields or pure (zero-point) energy? For eg. Quarks (particles) getting converted back in to quark field?

Or is it possible that by some way, all the particles/matter in the universe gets converted back in to their respective fields (zero-point energy state); just as things were instantaneously after the big bang - no particles and only fields ?

Physicists, please help me quench my curiosity to know about this.

P.S. - This question arose as I read the following two articles:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2020/03/21/ask-ethan-if-einstein-is-right-and-e-mc²-where-does-mass-get-its-energy-from/amp/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2019/01/13/ask-ethan-how-do-quantum-fields-create-particles/amp/

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    $\begingroup$ Hi :-) I think you have slightly misunderstood what we man when we say particles are excitations of a quantum field. If you want to discuss it this isn't really the place but we could discuss it in the Physics chat room. $\endgroup$ Jul 10 at 8:58
  • $\begingroup$ @John Rennie, my apologies. Actually, I am a mechanical engineer by academics and have a limited knowledge when it comes to Quantum and Particle Physics! However, I have a deep interest in understanding fundamentals of Nature/Physics. I asked one or two questions here previously and you answered them outstandingly and helped me out. I respect and appreciate your expertise with Physics and would definitely love to have a conversation with you in "the physics chat room"! $\endgroup$
    – user38220
    Jul 10 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ I'm in the Physics chat room now if you would like to discuss it. $\endgroup$ Jul 10 at 9:11
  • $\begingroup$ By the way, I guess all the fundamental particles/matter (particles) is just a quantization of energy/fields and that is what Einstein meant when he gave the equation E=mc2? $\endgroup$
    – user38220
    Jul 10 at 9:14
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Quantum field theory is a higher level quantum theory, based on the postulates of quantum mechanics. . The basic quantum mechanical wave equations of Schrodinger, Dirac, Klein Gordon, quantized Maxwell, are solved for two particles in a potential. In order to model the observed scattering and decays of elementary particles field theory was developed in the following way:

The plane wave solutions of the above equations are assigned as fields in all points of space time, electron fields,quark fields,neutrino fields and their antiparticle fields, a mathematical coordinate system, like a Lorenz invariant aether. On these plane wave solutions/fields differential operators operate creating and annihillating the named particles. This allow for the Feynman diagrams that allow to calculate two body to many body scatterings and decays of particles in a strict mathematical way. This model has been very successful in modelling and predicting data in particle physics, nuclear physics as well as superconductivity etc.

So the fields are tied up irrevocably to the operators, it is the system of both that creates and annihilates particles.

or is it possible that by some way, all the particles/matter in the universe gets converted back in to their respective fields

Fields cannot be discussed without the operators. It has no physical meaning to just discuss fields . They are a mathematical construct. It is the combination of fields and operators that create the observable states.

Just as things were instantaneously after the big bang - no particles and only fields ?

This is not correct.When quantum mechanics became part of the Big Bang model, the inflaton field and particle had to be invented in order to describe the beginning of the universe quantum mechanically.

You can only have a quantum field theory with fields coupled to operators that create particles. That is why it was very important to find the Higgs particle in order to validate the standard model.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for the brilliant answer! I could not understand totally about the mathematics. But, I do get an essence of what you wanted to explain - fields are mathematical constructs and the universe is modelled by humans using mathematics and so far we have been pretty good at modelling observable universe using mathematics. Also, ultimately what happens and what doesn't is just a matter of probabilities and all we can do is to find out the probability of an event, right? Apologies if I understood it incorrectly as QFT is not my forte and I am trying to learn :) $\endgroup$
    – user38220
    Jul 10 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ Can you recommend any good resources/books for someone who wants to learn Quantum Mechanics and subsequently Quantum Field Theory? That will be much appreciated! $\endgroup$
    – user38220
    Jul 10 at 13:20
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    $\begingroup$ My studies ended by 1965 so I am not a good person to recommend current books. I would trust these lectures at CERN for QFT to be current cds.cern.ch/record/893077/files/1-94%20Alvarez-Gaume.pdf . It was how my eyes were opened in a 1964 , on how QFT relates to data, at a cern school by lectures of Veltman, (after a graduate semester course onqft, creation and annihilation operators operating on fields :).) $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    Jul 10 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome! You are a brilliant shining star! Thank you so much. I will certainly go through the lectures! $\endgroup$
    – user38220
    Jul 10 at 14:11

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