Quarks

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Beaconator, Jul 21, 2022.

  1. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Gibberish.

    Psychotic episode?
     
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  3. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

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    So a photon is larger than the Higgs because the Higgs only covers a point within the nucleus
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    No.
     
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  7. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

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    So they are both the same size except mass
     
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    What do you mean by "size"? Volume?

    How do you propose to measure the volume of a photon or a Higgs boson? Bear in mind that both of these are quantum objects. They are not very much like solid little balls of stuff. They have all the usual quantum "weirdness". You can't measure both their position and velocity at the same time. They can spread out over a volume of space. They exhibit wavelike interference effects and other wavelike properties.

    Why do you think it matters what "size" a fundamental particle is? When does that ever become relevant?
     
  9. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

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    If volume of space they take up is different. They are different volumes.

    We can measure the space a particle appears in and by that estimate it’s density.

    I really don’t think it matters but I know it’s possible.

    is there such a thing as the density of a wave? Oh yes there is but it only applies to galaxies…
     
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    That would require having a physically meaningful boundary between what is, and what is not, particle.

    It's a little like the question of "What is the radius of Earth's gravitational influence?"
    Well, that depends on how you define it. Technically, the answer is "the radius of the universe".
     
  11. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Their "volume" is a probability, not a fixed quantity.
     
  12. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

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    The volume of the universe can be quantified.
     
  13. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    So can the volume of a sugar cube. But the volume of an atom is a probability, not a fixed quantity. "Sizes of atoms" can only be compared if you establish a "standard probability" - e.g. 60%.
     
  14. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

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    That doesn’t make any sense. 60% of what?
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    A sphere around the nucleus wherein there is a 60% (or greater) probability of an electron being measured at any given time.

    If you decided you wanted the probability threshold to be 30%, or 10%,then you would measure atoms to be larger than if you set the threshold at 60%.

    But there's no upper limit. You could set the probability limit so low that the atom could be a light year in diameter.

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    This is a poor analogy, but give it some thought.
    What is the diameter of the Earth, including its atmosphere?

    Well, you can find molecules of Earth's atmo at thousands of miles height - even as high as the Moon, if you look carefully enough.

    So we have to define Earth's diameter in terms of the density of atmosphere molecules (the likelihood we detect a molecule) - a value we choose arbitrarily.

    If we decide we don't consider it atmosphere when it's at less than 50% density, that occurs at 18,000 feet. So Earth's diameter is (24,902 + 3.5x2) miles.
    If we decide we should only have a 0.1% chance of encountering an air molecule, in order for it to be considered part of Earth, then Earth is much larger.

    The reason this is a poor analogy is because the molecules of Earth's atmo really do exist, whether we measure them or not. If we lose track of one, we can always pick it up farther along its path.

    Not so for electrons. The do not actually whiz around the nucleus of an atom. We cannot say what they are doing unless and until we measure - and then, all we can do is say "we found an electron at this location". It says nothing at all about what it was doing before or after we measured it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2022
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  16. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Also pretty hard to determine which nucleus it "belongs" to.
     
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