[Draft] Why is everyday matter so stable? We take it for granted that the lifetime of (non-radioactive) atoms is billions of years. Same for the protons and neutrons in their nuclei (barring a high-energy interaction). Unlike protons, lifetimes are not the same for bound and unbound “free” neutrons. Beta decay. Sticking around for billions of… Continue reading Particle lifetimes – live forever or die quickly?
[Communicating science] To understand contemporary physics, particularly quantum theory, the Standard Model is essential. This article includes an excellent video overview: • Quanta Magazine > Math Meets QFT > “A Video Tour of the Standard Model” by Kevin Hartnett, Senior Writer/Editor (July 16, 2021) (quote) Physicists would like to move beyond the Standard Model to… Continue reading Reality of fields, language of particles – the Standard Model
[“What’s changed in the last 50 years” series] Another interesting Symmetry Magazine article – a historical recap of the Standard Model and some highlights. • Symmetry Magazine > “Six fabulous facts about the Standard Model” by Sarah Charley ( March 16, 2021) – Learn about the Standard Model of particle physics and how physicists use… Continue reading Particle zoo to Standard Model and beyond
So, what are axions? I’ve noticed more articles lately about axions. Why all the fuss, eh? • Wiki The axion is a hypothetical elementary particle postulated by the Peccei–Quinn theory in 1977 to resolve the strong CP problem [violation of the combined symmetries of charge conjugation and parity] in quantum chromodynamics (QCD). If axions exist… Continue reading What are axions – real or not?
[Big Science, quantum foundations] While already following this Big Science project , with construction underway (for the next 3 years), I felt that a specific post was appropriate. The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) is a massive worldwide collaboration between countries, organizations, and over a 1000 scientists. All hail neutrinos!  I spent some time… Continue reading DUNE – digging for neutrinos, not spice
[Draft] [“Building a ‘verse” series] Reference: “How Many Fundamental Constants Does It Take To Explain the Universe?” by Ethan Siegel (Nov 23, 2018). Quite a large number of fundamental constants are required to describe reality as we know it … The fundamental constants … describe the strengths of all the interactions and the physical properties… Continue reading Defining a universe — how many constants?
[Draft] [“Building a ‘verse” series] I’ve cited this physicist’s video elsewhere, but Perimeter Institute’s overview of her lecture includes a helpful characterization of perturbation theory in the context of understanding the proton better: “Phiala Shanahan builds the universe – with a new approach to calculations and the aid of supercomputers, Emmy Noether Visiting Fellow Phiala… Continue reading The proton and perturbation problem
[“Building a ‘verse” series] Ever since I started reading about Quantum Field Theory (QFT), I was interested in how physicists talk about fields. And the multiplicity of fields. And how quantum fields compare to classical fields. So, as I’ve written elsewhere, the basic notion is that every matter particle is an excitation (or localized vibration)… Continue reading QFT – How many fields are there?
Over the weekend, I started reading Sean Carroll’s The Particle at the End of the Universe. Well written . At times his colloquial description of a concept prompted me to: (1) wonder if he was referring to a particular technical phenomenon; and (2) explore the specialized, technical background of that concept. In either case, quite… Continue reading Vocabulary at the end of the verse
Pondering the infinitely large and small, … there’s the neutrino. Grok this: “The sun is emitting neutrinos like mad, so that about a hundred trillion of them pass through your body every second , …” — Carroll, Sean (2016-05-10). The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (p. 177). Penguin… Continue reading Neutrino madness