Regarding Quarks

For the discussion of the sciences. Physics problems, chemistry equations, biology weirdness, it all goes here.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Lime
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:40 pm UTC

Regarding Quarks

Postby Lime » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:02 am UTC

A religious friend of mine recently brought up the topic of Quarks as a method to try and convert me to Christianity. He seems to believe that within Quarks, there's a smaller particle that has no mass. He's basically trying to say that the universe runs on magic. I recall Quarks being referred to as "Elementary Particles", which I interpreted to mean they're as basic as it gets. Also, I seem to recall them having energy, which would contribute to mass due to Special Relativity and the Mass/Energy Equivalence, regardless of any mass they may or may not have at rest. Does somebody want to clarify this for me? Keep in mind I haven't even taken my grade 12 physics yet, I'm mostly just a "hobbiest," so I may be missing something here.

User avatar
BlackSails
Posts: 5315
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:48 am UTC

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby BlackSails » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:37 am UTC

Yes, quarks have mass. No experiments to date have revealed an underlying structure to them.

User avatar
Cynwulf
Posts: 208
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:03 pm UTC
Location: California

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby Cynwulf » Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:38 am UTC

Nothing much to add: your impressions are right, and BlackSails provided an elegantly simple response. It is certainly possible that something might exist beyond the quark, but it is complete speculation. I don't know if there is any theory to support that kind of conjecture. If your friend is trying to argue that inside every quark is a little bit of God, then there is nothing to contradict him per se.

In college, my thermodynamics professor explained after class that his personal belief as a Christian was that God was the prime mover. The universe is functioning on a set of inviolable laws that were put in place at its beginning. God doesn't intervene, and doesn't break his own laws. I've always found this perspective, as well as other Deist points of view, more believable than "Sky daddy floating on a cloud" arguments.
L'homme est libre au moment qu'il veut l'être. | Man is free at the instant he wants to be.
- Voltaire

User avatar
Tass
Posts: 1909
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:21 pm UTC
Location: Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen.

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby Tass » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:21 am UTC

Believable in the sense that is it completely unfalsifiable. Meaning that there is no evidence either for or against and it does not add anything to a theory.

Furthermore such a god hardly has anything to do with christianity.

User avatar
Cynwulf
Posts: 208
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:03 pm UTC
Location: California

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby Cynwulf » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:23 pm UTC

Beliefs sort of are unfalsifiable. And I'm not saying that I believe in a god - I'm simply saying that a deist God is more believable to me than a big, bearded man sitting on a cloud putting images of the Virgin Mary in toast.
L'homme est libre au moment qu'il veut l'être. | Man is free at the instant he wants to be.
- Voltaire

User avatar
doogly
Dr. The Juggernaut of Touching Himself
Posts: 5538
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:31 am UTC
Location: Lexington, MA
Contact:

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby doogly » Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:54 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:Yes, quarks have mass. No experiments to date have revealed an underlying structure to them.

In particular, quarks have rest mass. Generally this is what people (like blacksails) mean when they say "mass" without specifying. Relativistic mass can be a finicky concept and is often not used, in favor of other ways to label relativistic results.
LE4dGOLEM: What's a Doug?
Noc: A larval Doogly. They grow the tail and stinger upon reaching adulthood.

Keep waggling your butt brows Brothers.
Or; Is that your eye butthairs?

Moose Hole
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:34 pm UTC

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby Moose Hole » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:30 pm UTC

I'm sure Quark can set you up for a mass in a holosuite if you have enough latinum.

User avatar
big boss
Posts: 589
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:59 am UTC

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby big boss » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:02 pm UTC

Just another piece of information: no one has actually created an isolated quark (ie quarks are always found in protons neutrons etc and never just all by themselves), we can only "prove" the quarks' existence from predictions the quark theory makes, which can be tested via experiments. The experiments match the theory very well.
"Starbuck, what do you hear?"
"Nothing but the Rain."

User avatar
BlackSails
Posts: 5315
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:48 am UTC

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby BlackSails » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:28 pm UTC

big boss wrote:Just another piece of information: no one has actually created an isolated quark (ie quarks are always found in protons neutrons etc and never just all by themselves), we can only "prove" the quarks' existence from predictions the quark theory makes, which can be tested via experiments. The experiments match the theory very well.


Well, quark theory also predicts that free quarks are impossible to make

User avatar
thoughtfully
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:25 am UTC
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby thoughtfully » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:02 pm UTC

High energy scattering experiments at SLAC demonstrated a structure to nucleons consistent with the quark model. You don't need to isolate them to "see" them. The actual rest mass isn't as well determined as it is for other particles, however, since you can't isolate and check their mass, and working it out from the theory side is a real bear.
Image
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

User avatar
big boss
Posts: 589
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:59 am UTC

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby big boss » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:59 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:
big boss wrote:Just another piece of information: no one has actually created an isolated quark (ie quarks are always found in protons neutrons etc and never just all by themselves), we can only "prove" the quarks' existence from predictions the quark theory makes, which can be tested via experiments. The experiments match the theory very well.


Well, quark theory also predicts that free quarks are impossible to make


Yea thats what I was getting at, and if i remember from my particle physics course correctly the reason for quark confinement is not yet known.
"Starbuck, what do you hear?"
"Nothing but the Rain."

User avatar
BlackSails
Posts: 5315
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:48 am UTC

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby BlackSails » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:36 pm UTC

big boss wrote:
BlackSails wrote:
big boss wrote:Just another piece of information: no one has actually created an isolated quark (ie quarks are always found in protons neutrons etc and never just all by themselves), we can only "prove" the quarks' existence from predictions the quark theory makes, which can be tested via experiments. The experiments match the theory very well.


Well, quark theory also predicts that free quarks are impossible to make


Yea thats what I was getting at, and if i remember from my particle physics course correctly the reason for quark confinement is not yet known.


I thought its due to the strong force increasing at short distances, to the point where its more energetically favorable to create new quarks.

Aiwendil42
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 8:52 pm UTC

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby Aiwendil42 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:08 am UTC

Yeah, that's my understanding too - confinement is basically due to the non-perturbative nature of QCD (the theory that describes the strong interaction) at low energies. However, I believe (I may be wrong) that confinement has not been proven analytically (few things can be in QCD). In other words, discovery of free quarks would not falsify QCD. So I suppose the correct thing to say is that we think quark confinement is likely true in general and we have a good but not analytically rigorous understanding of why this should be so.

Again, though, I may be wrong - QCD isn't my field.

User avatar
nehpest
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:25 pm UTC

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby nehpest » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:46 am UTC

Lime wrote:He seems to believe that within Quarks, there's a smaller particle that has no mass.


As the above posters have said, there is absolutely no reason to believe quarks have any internal structure (unless you're a string theorist, in which case I got nothing). However, we do believe that massless particles travel between quarks, within protons/neutrons/etc: the force carrier particles (photons, gluons, W/Z bosons, maybe Higgs particles). These are the particles that are responsible for transmitting forces from place to place (i.e., photons are responsible for transferring the electromagnetic force, etc.)
Kewangji wrote:Someone told me I need to stop being so arrogant. Like I'd care about their plebeian opinions.

blag

User avatar
thoughtfully
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:25 am UTC
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby thoughtfully » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:53 am UTC

The String Theory view of quarks doesn't add structure, just resolution. Instead of modeling them as points, they are little vibrating bits of space-time, but still a single entity.
Image
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

User avatar
nehpest
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:25 pm UTC

Re: Regarding Quarks

Postby nehpest » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:40 pm UTC

thoughtfully wrote:The String Theory view of quarks doesn't add structure, just resolution. Instead of modeling them as points, they are little vibrating bits of space-time, but still a single entity.


Italics: I agree completely.
Bold: I guess I'm misusing the term "structure" :( I assumed that anything other than a point particle would have structure - thanks for the correction!
Kewangji wrote:Someone told me I need to stop being so arrogant. Like I'd care about their plebeian opinions.

blag


Return to “Science”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests