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# Quantum 101 - smallest mass?

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posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 02:12 PM
When I was in grade school, we knew that protons, neutrons and electrons made up the atom.

Of course the question, then, was
* "What are protons, neutron and electrons made of?"

We knew then (but my teachers didn't) that protons and neutrons are made up of quarks (three each) and some other speculated stuff.

So then the question is,
* "What are quarks and electrons and that others speculated 'stuff' made of?"

When we look at the mass assigned and calculated to various sub-atomic particles discussed in quantum physics, surely someone has sought to discover the common denominator of the mass-- and yet I have never seen a discussion touch on such a thing.

That is to say... that if a proton and a neutron, each made up of three quarks, have a different mass, then whatever the difference in mass must mean that there is either a single particle or multiple particles with a mass equaling the difference.

Example:

* A Proton has a mass of 938.272046 MeV/c^2 (megaelectron volts divided by the speed of light)
-- three quarks, up/up/down
* A Neutron has a mass of 939.565378 MeV/c^2
-- three quarks up/down/down

The difference of 1.293332 MeV.

Does some "stuff" (individually or collectively) equal that difference in mass or is the difference in calculated mass due only to motion (spin)?

Perhaps I am asking if it is possible that the direction of spin accounts for the slight difference in mass-- and that if the quarks did not spin, then the masses would be identical. But then, I cannot see how a down-spin of an otherwise identical particle could increase its mass over the same particle spinning in the opposite direction.

If motion is not a factor, than some "stuff" must account for the difference-- and do we know what that might be?

I suspect a fault in my logic-- possibly due to to the mass/energy equivalency or taking calculated mass (or the term "spin") too literally-- otherwise the physicists would be looking for a single common denominator for the mass of all known particles to determine what is the single basic unit of matter.

edit on 1-1-2012 by Frira because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 02:27 PM
I have been thinking a lot about that very thing .. it's mind boggling because it comes down to everything is made up of something.. what about the smallest "thing" ? what is IT made of ..

I also think about the speed of light in the same way .. we only think the speed of light is the fastest because we've not measured faster yet.. I don't think the speed of light is the limit.. I also don't like when it's said that the laws of physics are universal, we really can't say that until we've been everywhere to test that idea..

I've always loved physics but it can certainly make your head hurt after a while

posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 02:43 PM
I understand only parts of this article, but it will help with some of the confusion. Take a look:Quark Mass

posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 02:44 PM

I propose that, no matter how deep we look, we will continue to find something smaller.

(The illusion is a perfect one isn't it?)

posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 02:56 PM
There is a rumour that the 4th part of what we observe,[time]might have a factor ..? I surley cant comment on the math part of the thing but I think that maybee time has a mass we are not considering ..could be the god particle,who knows ....peace

posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 03:04 PM

Originally posted by rbnhd76

I propose that, no matter how deep we look, we will continue to find something smaller.

(The illusion is a perfect one isn't it?)

Oh, I hope not-- I want answers!

posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 03:13 PM

Originally posted by charles1952
I understand only parts of this article, but it will help with some of the confusion. Take a look:Quark Mass

With...

What's more, whereas the standard model treats the quark masses as arbitrary, physicists hope to develop deeper theories that might explain, for example, why they have the values that they do. The quark masses would provide an important benchmark for such effort, Mackenzie says.

I fear my thoughts are moot-- we do not have the precision to look for a common denominator as an attribute of the tiniest of particles.

posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 09:56 PM

Originally posted by Frira
When we look at the mass assigned and calculated to various sub-atomic particles discussed in quantum physics, surely someone has sought to discover the common denominator of the mass-- and yet I have never seen a discussion touch on such a thing.
You probably have but just didn't recognize it as such.

Ever hear of the LHC at CERN and the search for the Higgs boson which they announced last month they might have found?

Explainer: the Higgs boson particle

what is mass?

This is one of the most important questions in particle physics today. The leading explanation for the origin of mass is the Higgs mechanism developed in 1964, which involves the Higgs field and the Higgs boson.

My favourite description of the Higgs mechanism comes from David J. Miller, the winner of a competition among physicists to find the best way of explaining the physics to the UK Science Minister in 1993 to acquire funding. The analogy goes a something like this …

Imagine that a room full of physicists chattering quietly is like space filled with the Higgs field. A well-known scientist walks in, creating a disturbance as he moves across the room and attracting a group of admirers with every step.

This increases his resistance to movement. In other words, he acquires mass, just like a particle moving through the Higgs field. Now imagine if, instead of a well-known scientist entering, somebody started a rumour.

As the rumour spreads throughout the room, it creates the same kind of grouping, but this time it’s the scientists grouping together.
So if you've heard about the search for the Higgs boson, it's a search for the common denominator you asked about.

The current status is that more confirmation is needed to determine if they really found it, or if they just have a statistical anomaly, is my interpretation:

First glimpse of the Higgs boson – how to interpret CERN’s announcement

We don’t call a result a “discovery” until it is “5 sigma” significant, or a chance of random error better than one in a million.

So how statistically significant were the ATLAS and CMS results?

In statistical terms, the confidence in these deviations (if we take them at face value) is around 2.6 standard deviations.
So 2.6 sigma isn't 5 sigma yet, but 2.6 sigma isn't insignificant. It's an interesting result, it just needs more statistical certainty to claim it's proof of the Higgs.

posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 01:39 PM

Originally posted by Arbitrageur

Originally posted by Frira
When we look at the mass assigned and calculated to various sub-atomic particles discussed in quantum physics, surely someone has sought to discover the common denominator of the mass-- and yet I have never seen a discussion touch on such a thing.
You probably have but just didn't recognize it as such.

Yes. The Higgs boson search has been partly a factor in my increasing interest in quantum physics. And my increasing interest has produced study, and my study has made it clear I am missing some major foundational understanding.

I was wanting to read something different, in fiction and so browsed at my favorite local used-book store, checking an old favorite author and walked out with a novel centered around the abandoned SSC project by Herman Wouk (I didn't much like it). In the midst of reading it, the sensational announcement of an impending announcement came out. I started trying to really understand at a better level then.

And it is not working. I'm not getting it-- and clearly, neither are many of the reporters attempting to write about it. Not to disparage others who do not understand it any more than I do-- but if the title of an article uses the term, "God Particle," I have learned not to even bother reading those.

We are looking for the tiniest, and yet the Higgs boson has such energy that it must be huge-- or so it seems to me.

And I am not even near understanding the concept that the hugely energetic (thus, I think, massive) Higgs boson gives a bit of mass to other particles-- even though I gather that was the point of the analogy of the scientists in a room.

Until your post, I was not aware that the Higgs might be a part of finding the tiniest of particles-- but rather thought it was just to fill a mathematical gap in mass and energy which were necessary for several aspects of the Standard Model.

But that, of course, is half the fun of quantum physics-- the mostly intuitively understood Newtonian notions do not apply.

Thanks for the article. I am afraid I am going to have to be spoon fed.

posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 02:39 PM

Originally posted by Frira
We are looking for the tiniest, and yet the Higgs boson has such energy that it must be huge-- or so it seems to me.

And I am not even near understanding the concept that the hugely energetic (thus, I think, massive) Higgs boson gives a bit of mass to other particles-- even though I gather that was the point of the analogy of the scientists in a room.
Yes the Higgs boson is somewhat large, about 133 times the mass of a proton, if they actually found the Higgs. But you need to think of the Higgs field.

Let's try a different analogy. Look at all the snow in this picture. The mass of all the snow you see might be 1000 pounds. Think of that like the Higgs mass and the snow all over the ground like the Higgs field.

blog.cmbinfo.com...

The little snowball rolling through it is like a particle, gaining mass from the Higgs field. It may only weigh 1 pound.

See how something so small can get mass from something 1000 times larger than itself?

Of course this isn't exactly how the Higgs field works, but it gives you some idea how you can get a smaller mass from a larger mass, so that's the point of the analogy.

Does that help? I always find pictures like this help me, with a picture being worth 1000 words and all that.

edit on 2-1-2012 by Arbitrageur because: clarification

posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 03:11 PM
The tiniest particle making up atomic nuclei was described paranormally over a century ago and then identified in 1980 by a British theoretical physicist as the as yet undiscovered constituent of up and down quarks (he later identified it as the subquark state of the E8xE8 heterotic superstring, as well). His work was accepted by a Fellow of the Royal Society who discovered vitamin B12, an Indian Government Minister of Science, several Nobel Prize winners in physics and Dr Hal Puthoff, who became famous for his remote viewing experiments with Uri Geller.

The amazing evidence is presented and analyzed here.
His analysis presented here of what were assumed a century ago to be the atoms of the first 20 elements in the periodic table confirmed that quarks were remote-viewed as long ago as 1895.

posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 03:22 PM

Originally posted by Arbitrageur

Originally posted by Frira
We are looking for the tiniest, and yet the Higgs boson has such energy that it must be huge-- or so it seems to me.

And I am not even near understanding the concept that the hugely energetic (thus, I think, massive) Higgs boson gives a bit of mass to other particles-- even though I gather that was the point of the analogy of the scientists in a room.
Yes the Higgs boson is somewhat large, about 133 times the mass of a proton, if they actually found the Higgs. But you need to think of the Higgs field.

Let's try a different analogy. Look at all the snow in this picture. The mass of all the snow you see might be 1000 pounds. Think of that like the Higgs mass and the snow all over the ground like the Higgs field.

The little snowball rolling through it is like a particle, gaining mass from the Higgs field. It may only weigh 1 pound.

See how something so small can get mass from something 1000 times larger than itself?

Of course this isn't exactly how the Higgs field works, but it gives you some idea how you can get a smaller mass from a larger mass, so that's the point of the analogy.

Does that help? I always find pictures like this help me, with a picture being worth 1000 words and all that.

It does help-- but the one does not seem to diminish as the other is increased.

I (mis?)understand the Higgs' existence to allow for mass-less particles to have mass-- or at least allow the existing mass of a lesser particle to have an increased mass without diminishing the source of that increase.

Mass being, mathematically relatively equal to energy, and yet energy is given without diminishing mass. My mind fails to make that turn... UNLESS, it has something to do with motion.

A few jumps in logic-- but what is jumped is still there:

Electrons do not "wind down." The energy remains in a constant range, and reliably so... forever.

So the very existence of a thing requires energy which is of the thing and yet never depleted. Which then (by jumping steps) leads me to that atoms do not exists without their own motion (electrons orbit of an atom and, perhaps, "spin" of a quark) and since velocity relates, mathematically, to mass--- and therefore, to energy-- the whole thing works.

Need more energy to continue existence? Speed up relative motion (lower orbit?) so that mass increases. Too much energy? Slow down relative motion (raise orbit?) so that mass decreases. I don't know-- too Newtonian, I think.

And my mind, attempting to make that turn, simply then idles in the prospect of the sublime.

I would want to understand the math-- but suspect the mental work to do so requires substantially more investment than my need to understand will reasonably permit.

edit on 2-1-2012 by Frira because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 03:35 PM

Originally posted by micpsi
The tiniest particle making up atomic nuclei was described paranormally over a century ago and then identified in 1980 by a British theoretical physicist as the as yet undiscovered constituent of up and down quarks (he later identified it as the subquark state of the E8xE8 heterotic superstring, as well). His work was accepted by a Fellow of the Royal Society who discovered vitamin B12, an Indian Government Minister of Science, several Nobel Prize winners in physics and Dr Hal Puthoff, who became famous for his remote viewing experiments with Uri Geller.

The amazing evidence is presented and analyzed here.
His analysis presented here of what were assumed a century ago to be the atoms of the first 20 elements in the periodic table confirmed that quarks were remote-viewed as long ago as 1895.

If you look up "wall of text" in the dictionary, one of those links might be given as an illustration. Holy cow!

Opening paragraph at least five paragraph's long-- and, I just am not up to decoding it.

I scanned enough to know that the concept of quarks based upon ESP and remote viewing is not going to help answer my questions, but distract. But thanks-- there is probably something worthwhile in there for everyone.

posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 06:01 PM

Originally posted by Frira
It does help-- but the one does not seem to diminish as the other is increased.

I (mis?)understand the Higgs' existence to allow for mass-less particles to have mass-- or at least allow the existing mass of a lesser particle to have an increased mass without diminishing the source of that increase.
I'm glad it helped a little.

Yes that's a misunderstanding. Mass can't come from nowhere. It can come from other mass or from energy.

So when something gains mass, something else had to give up mass or an equivalent amount of energy to provide it. Sort of like the snowball.

That's why E=mc^2 is referred to as conservation of mass and energy.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 04:54 AM

Originally posted by Frira
I suspect a fault in my logic-- possibly due to to the mass/energy equivalency or taking calculated mass (or the term "spin") too literally-- otherwise the physicists would be looking for a single common denominator for the mass of all known particles to determine what is the single basic unit of matter.

You are taking the term 'spin' too literally if you follow the Quantum Chromodynamics orthodoxy, yes. Because in Quantum Chromodynamic othodoxy: spin is just a mathematical spin, and has next to no connection with physical reality. Spin as modelled by QC is a vague, floating variable which allows them to force a psuedo-physical theory around some observed data.

But I believe you are intuitively correct about the reality of spin in physical quanta. After all, what other motion could a particle really take on, aside from spin?

I don't think you should buy into any of the Higgs nonsense that is being preached at you here by the evangelists. You are totally right to be asking 'what is an electron made of?' 'what is the basic unit of matter?', those are great questions (for which the Standard Model only has bluff and babble).

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 07:25 AM

Originally posted by yampa

Originally posted by Frira
I suspect a fault in my logic-- possibly due to to the mass/energy equivalency or taking calculated mass (or the term "spin") too literally-- otherwise the physicists would be looking for a single common denominator for the mass of all known particles to determine what is the single basic unit of matter.

You are taking the term 'spin' too literally if you follow the Quantum Chromodynamics orthodoxy, yes. Because in Quantum Chromodynamic othodoxy: spin is just a mathematical spin, and has next to no connection with physical reality. Spin as modelled by QC is a vague, floating variable which allows them to force a psuedo-physical theory around some observed data.

But I believe you are intuitively correct about the reality of spin in physical quanta. After all, what other motion could a particle really take on, aside from spin?

I don't think you should buy into any of the Higgs nonsense that is being preached at you here by the evangelists. You are totally right to be asking 'what is an electron made of?' 'what is the basic unit of matter?', those are great questions (for which the Standard Model only has bluff and babble).

So "spin" may be just like assigning "color" except that in the case of "spin" there is a associate charge, and therefore it is, possibly, descriptive of the actual property.

It is my understanding that, beyond babble and bluff, the Standard Model also has math supporting the theory-- if they find the Higgs boson as expected.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 10:36 AM

Originally posted by Frira
So "spin" may be just like assigning "color" except that in the case of "spin" there is a associate charge, and therefore it is, possibly, descriptive of the actual property.

It is my understanding that, beyond babble and bluff, the Standard Model also has math supporting the theory-- if they find the Higgs boson as expected.

Assigning 'charge' to something without a physical mechanism for the energy transfer is just as bad as making spin a non-physical spin. This whole theory is absurd and circular and is only supported by endless confusing math.

Charge MUST have a physical mediator. The most logical target for this is the photon. A very small photon.

There is a trick which will take you from an estimate for the mass of that photon (yes, photons have real mass, not fantasy 'relativistic mass'), past the experimentally estimated mass for the IR photon, past the mass for the UV photon, onto the electron then the proton. That trick can also be firmly assigned purely to a mechanical particle spin if you know which units to use and how to stack the spins. Try dig something like that out of Quantum Mechanics.

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