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Full-Text Articles in Physics

Rudiments Of Quantum Mechanics (Qm), David Peak Jan 2018

Rudiments Of Quantum Mechanics (Qm), David Peak

Structure of Matter

Rudiments of Quantum Mechanics (QM)


Structure Of Matter, 1, David Peak Jan 2018

Structure Of Matter, 1, David Peak

Structure of Matter

In the hot early universe, prior to the epoch of nucleosynthesis, even the most primitive nuclear material—i.e., protons and neutrons—could not have existed. Earlier than 10–5 s or so after t = 0 , the universe would have been a hot soup consisting of the most elementary of particles—photons, electrons, positrons, neutrinos, quarks, and gluons. We now turn to the,” “Standard Model of Particle Physics,” our current understanding of these elementary building blocks and their interactions. The Standard Model of Particle Physics (SMPP), developed in fits and starts over the past 50 years, is a quantitatively predictive ...


Structure Of Matter, 3, David Peak Jan 2018

Structure Of Matter, 3, David Peak

Structure of Matter

The particle zoo

Prior to the 1930s the fundamental structure of matter was believed to be extremely simple: there were electrons (each with mass about 0.5 MeV), e− , photons (no mass), γ , and protons (mass about 938 MeV), p+ . Starting in 1932 the world began to get a lot more complicated. First came Dirac’s positron ( e+ , with same mass as the electron), postulated in 1928 but mostly ignored until Anderson’s accidental discovery (see SM 1). Soon after, the neutron ( n ) was identified (mass about 940 MeV). In beta decay, the neutron transforms into a proton and an ...


Structure Of Matter, 4, David Peak Jan 2018

Structure Of Matter, 4, David Peak

Structure of Matter

Antiscreening: The triumph of lattice QCD

QED is a phenomenally accurate theory of the interactions of electrically charged particles with photons. The way interactions are described in QED—by adding electromagnetic potential fields to the energy and momentum operators in the charged particle field equations— is essentially exactly correct given that the detailed calculations that can be made in QED agree so well with observation. These calculations are possible because simple processes (involving small numbers of interaction vertices) are significantly more important than complicated processes. That is, QED is a “perturbative” theory. Higher order QED effects, therefore, invariably consist of ...


Structure Of Matter, 8, David Peak Jan 2018

Structure Of Matter, 8, David Peak

Structure of Matter

Neutrino mass and family mixing

Neutrinos are products of radioactive decay in many stellar fusion processes, primarily starting with the reaction p + p → 2He*→ 2H + e+e . The nucleus 2He* is a highly unstable (that’s what the * represents) isotope of helium consisting of four primary u quarks and two primary d quarks. For years (since 1962 or so), various groups have been measuring the solar electron-neutrino flux, invariably observing it to be lower than theoretical predictions. Moreover, neutrinos are generated in the upper atmosphere, via collisions of cosmic ray particles with atmospheric atoms, and in ...


Structure Of Matter, 7, David Peak Jan 2018

Structure Of Matter, 7, David Peak

Structure of Matter

More about the matter with mass

To repeat, the basic premise of QED is that the physical world doesn’t care about the phase of the electron wavefunction; calculations and observations strongly support that idea. The basic premise of QCD is that the physical world doesn’t care about the color of the quark wavefunction; calculations and observations strongly support that idea. The basic premise of QFD is that the physical world doesn’t care about the flavor (isospin) of the quark or lepton wavefunctions. But that’s not true! For example, a “free” d quark can certainly emit a ...


Structure Of Matter, 9, David Peak Jan 2018

Structure Of Matter, 9, David Peak

Structure of Matter

Beyond the Standard Models

As noted in SM 8 there are problems with the standard model of particle physics that beg for resolution. Indeed, there are significant unknowns concerning the standard model of cosmology as well—for example, what really is “inflation” and what preceded it? The latter suggests the need for the unification of gravity and quantum mechanics. In addition, both models involve bizarre empirical parameters. Why are the elementary particle masses so wildly different? Why are the strengths of the interactions so different? What is dark matter? What is dark energy and why is its density so small ...


Structure Of Matter, 2, David Peak Jan 2018

Structure Of Matter, 2, David Peak

Structure of Matter

Quantum electrodynamics

Quantum electrodynamics (QED) is the quantitatively best physical theory yet developed. Where it has been tested, it agrees with experiment to at least a few parts in 1011! It is a theory of how charged particles and photons interact. It starts with electrons, for example, described by the Dirac Equation, interacting with photons described by a suitable electromagnetic potential energy.


Structure Of Matter, 6, David Peak Jan 2018

Structure Of Matter, 6, David Peak

Structure of Matter

Quantum Flavor Dynamics (QFD), I

That each generation of the quark and lepton periodic tables (i.e., electron, muon, and tauon–see SM 1, p.1) has two members (a neutrino and a charged particle) that can be flipped into one another by emission or absorption of W bosons is reminiscent of how the angular momentum spin-1/2 component of a charged particle can be flipped between “up” and “down” orientations along some direction ( z ) in space by emission or absorption of photons. This analogy is made more graphic by labeling flavor rows by a new kind of “spin” (completely ...


Structure Of Matter, 5, David Peak Jan 2018

Structure Of Matter, 5, David Peak

Structure of Matter

The quark-gluon plasma

At the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island in New York (the only major research accelerator functioning in the US) and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland, heavy atoms, stripped of most or all of their electrons, are collided with energies approaching 100-1000 GeV per nucleon. Traveling at nearly the speed of light, these heavy ions are Lorentz contracted into pancake shapes in the laboratory frame of reference and, consequently, have very large quark and gluon densities within the constituent protons and neutrons. The energy density in the ...