Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Discussions on classical and modern physics, quantum mechanics, particle physics, thermodynamics, general and special relativity, etc.

Electrons, The Higgs Field & Left/Right Spin

Postby Holly on February 11th, 2019, 12:06 pm 

What causes the electron to interact with the Higgs Field but NOT the Photon?
What causes electrons to have a right or left handed spin?
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Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby Holly on February 11th, 2019, 12:10 pm 

Are the strings in String theory LITERAL or just a mathematical construct?
IF the strings are vibrating, WHAT causes them to have the energy to produce this vibration?
Is it possible if they are vibrating they cause noise or even music (I hear they are like Violin Strings).
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Fundamental Forces

Postby Holly on February 11th, 2019, 12:31 pm 

What CAUSES the fundamental forces to be different? I realize they are what allow our Universe to exist but what allowed these forces to have the physics and forces they have?

This probably goes to the question of why is there something here instead of nothing?
What causes these forces to act in the way they do?
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Re: Fundamental Forces

Postby TheVat on February 11th, 2019, 1:57 pm 

Holly, scientists think that at the highest energies and earliest moments in time, all the fundamental forces may have existed as a single unified force. As the universe cooled just one microsecond after the Big Bang, it underwent a "phase transition" that transformed or "broke" the unified electromagnetic and weak forces into the distinct forces observed today.

Try this article (and also perhaps you could google "symmetry breaking and fundamental forces")....

https://phys.org/news/2018-09-symmetry-fundamental.html
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Re: Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby TheVat on February 11th, 2019, 2:20 pm 

Holly, you need to stop opening new threads for each question you have. We don't do it that way here. You research a topic on your own, and then if you have an unresolved question, you come here and post it. One topic at a time.

I went ahead and merged three of your many questions into this thread. Our physics membership is fairly small right now, so you may want to continue researching this on your own.
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Re: Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby Holly on February 11th, 2019, 3:36 pm 

TheVat,
I'm 50 years old and a Dr Don Lincon from Fermilab said to come here for Quantum Mechanics questions. THIS is NOT homework, I've had these questions and a list of them still that I can't answer and I'm driving my husband nuts. I'm sorry that I've asked far to many questions I guess Dr. Don Lincon from Fermilab is wrong the average human being can't find someone to mull over the questions of the Universe with.
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Re: Forcing the Issue

Postby Faradave on February 11th, 2019, 4:29 pm 

Welcome Holly,

I appreciate your curiosity and think you've come to the right place. Just too many questions at once. We need to get a feel for your background in order to best answer your questions. That intro was a big help. As TheVat has suggested, it's relevant to know what ground you've covered already.

Have you had classical physics in high school or college? To what extent are you familiar with relativity, quantum mechanics, and particle physics? How deep do you want to go with the answers and how close to convention do you want to adhere? In the Physics section answers will stick fairly close to the Standard Model. If you want to share opinions & models beyond that, it will likely occur in Personal Theories.
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Re: OP ed

Postby Faradave on February 11th, 2019, 4:44 pm 

Specific to the OP:
Holly wrote:What causes the electron to interact with the Higgs Field but NOT the Photon?

What distinguishes one particle from another is a collection of "coupling constants". Those describe (but fall short of explaining) why one kind of particle couples to the Higgs field and the electric field and another does not. Thus, particles can be defined by their coupling constants.

Holly wrote:What causes electrons to have a right or left handed spin?

This is arbitrarily determined by the orientation of the measuring device (or observer). When you think about it the terms "left-handed" and "right-handed" are themselves arbitrary designations.

The fact of the matter is that any rotation about a spatial axis is a shared state of both left-handed and right-handed, as seen by viewing a glass-faced clock from both sides. This results from the fact that a line-like axis has arrows at both ends (i.e. offers bidirectional translational freedom). It is the orientation of the observer which breaks the shared state into a measured state.

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Re: First Strings, Second Fiddle

Postby Faradave on February 11th, 2019, 5:02 pm 

Holly wrote:Are the strings in String theory LITERAL or just a mathematical construct?

Any model of physical reality will be founded upon a set of "first principles". These need not be material or even objects. The fewer and more simple the first principles, the more elegant the model.

Strings are a first principle of string theory. They are not themselves material, yet they result in material properties. An example I like to use is the eye of a hurricane. Is it an object? It has no existence apart from spin.

I personally don't adhere to string theory. Not elegant enough.

Holly wrote:What causes the fundamental forces to be different?

A short answer could be the force carriers which implement them according to the Standard Model. For example, photons mediate the EM force, gravitons Gravity, gluons the Strong force while W and Z bosons mediate the Weak force.
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Re: Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby Holly on February 11th, 2019, 7:42 pm 

OK background. I am a 50 year old lay person who has a need to answer a bunch of questions I have gathered over time. The first time I remember being interested in Physics and Star Stuff is Carl Segan and the Cosmos series where he took you on a journey in a star ship. Since then I wished as a woman I had studied Physics but back then women did not do stuff like that. However, I've always loved the weirdness of Quantum Mechanics like the Double Slit Experiment, The Uncertainty Principle, That Cat that is Dead & Alive.... HOLLY COW! Now we know electrons have a left or right spin, there are a bunch of different types of Quarks, Neutrinos and who knows Sterile Neutrinos might be the missing mass or gravity or whatever from the Universe.

General curiosity from books, videos and more is all I have but I can't exactly call someone with the various questions I have over the years... Like looking up a plumber! Hey Einstein I have a General Relativity question for you.

I know I am just a lay person but I want to understand the Universe. If you have not heard it play Carl Segan's speech "Pale Blue Dot" as I feel my place in the Universe is so profound. How are we even here instead of nothing? The Universe is Infinite there is NO possibility to know everything since it is Infinite. Therefore we can't know everything, which means we will always have something to learn.

I forgot to mention that I have no formal training in physics.
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Re: Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby Holly on February 11th, 2019, 7:52 pm 

Can someone explain how to reply to a post? I found an interesting response to my question on electrons that have Left handed versus Right handed spin that I have more questions on and wanted to know the following questions:

1. Do I ask my question here in this same space?
2. How do I "Quote" or respond to a particular post to find out more information? I noticed sometimes only a particular part of a post is quoted, not sure how this is done?
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Re: Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby davidm on February 11th, 2019, 9:44 pm 

Look in the upper right of any post, but just to the left of the poster's name. There is a button labeled "quote. Click on the button. The entire post you want to quote will appear nested in quote tags. The opening tag is the word quote inside of two brackets. The closing tag is also the word quote inside of two brackets, but with a / before the word quote.

You can respond to the quoted material in whole or in part. If you just want to respond to a part of the quote, even a single sentence or a word or two, select and delete all the stuff you do not want to respond to. Just make sure what is left over is still bracketed by the open quote and close quote tags that I listed above. Then write your response under the material inside the quote tags.

ETA: You will only see that quote button (and the edit button next to it, which allows you to edit your own posts, even after you have posted them) if you are logged in. It's actually a bit of defect of the software here, which I think should be fixed. Lots of message board software shows you those buttons even if you are logged out, and then if you click them, it takes you directly to the login page, which saves time for the user.
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Re: Video fest - pass a test (I wish)

Postby Faradave on February 12th, 2019, 12:02 am 

Holly wrote:General curiosity from books, videos and more is all I have but I can't exactly call someone with the various questions I have over the years... electron spin

No problem. That's what SPCF is for. (Underlined words below are links).

Electrons can have classical spin (about a spatial axis) and they always have "intrinsic" spin, also known as "quantum spin" or "spin ½". Spinning any electric charge about a spatial axis produces a magnet with polarity designated by a (left-hand) rule of thumb. By contrast, an electron's intrinsic spin produces a magnet in every direction we choose to measure, but we can only measure one direction at a time.

I assume you're familiar with Don Lincoln through his Fermi videos. Those are of medium intensity.

You might find the shorter animated MinutePhysics a bit lighter, yet often having a topic specific to your question.

One of my more recent favorites is Science Asylum, a notch easier but still providing nice answers.


There's a very respectable treatment given by a female physicist in Looking Glass Universe but it can get fairly deep.


None of which should stop you from asking a question here. But the vids can be helpful before and after doing so. Over time you'll pick up quite a bit.
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Re: First Strings, Second Fiddle

Postby Holly on February 12th, 2019, 10:41 am 

Faradave,
I personally don't adhere to string theory. Not elegant enough.



What theory do you adhere to, I would like to hear your view point. Or books you would recommend, I am currently reading these two books:
1. Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind & Art Friedman
2. Breakfast with Einstein, The Exotic Physics of Everyday Objects by Chad Orzel
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Re: Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby Holly on February 12th, 2019, 10:43 am 

Faradave,
I wished I could sit with you and ask you questions. I will check out the videos you posted, Thank you!
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Re: Feeding the Beast

Postby Faradave on February 12th, 2019, 1:10 pm 

Holly,
Holly wrote:I will check out the videos you posted

Those links contain an overwhelming number of vidz. Unless someone is paying you to learn (or worse, you're paying tuition), take your time. Browse the titles and, in an open document, keep a play list of links to your favorite topics (just right click any vid to copy its link). Then view 1 or 2 a day. It takes time for this stuff to settle in. 50 is young. There's no rush.

Holly wrote:I am currently reading ... Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind & Art Friedman

I find Susskind to be intelligent but one of the worst communicators I've encountered. His "Minimum" series is far more sophisticated than most beginners can handle. They would be completely unintelligible if not for his non-physicist co-authors. When I first got his QM book, I found I had to go back and get the one on classical mechanics just to keep up with the jargon. Even there, a flood of jargon. Not bad but not my choice for beginners.

Anytime physicists start pulling abstract work spaces (such as "Hilbert space" or extra dimensions) out of their back pockets, it means they've abandoned reality. Physics isn't physics unless it's about the physical. That other stuff is math. Nothing bad about math but it isn't necessarily physics. Particles can't do math.

Holly wrote:I wished I could sit with you and ask you questions.

What you'd get is Personal Theory of which SPCF has quite a variety. We try and avoid that, here in the Physics section. I'm guilty of making my own jargon (e.g. "pinhole" instead of "photon"), which no physicist will recognize. Nevertheless, I published a brief (5 page) intro, you can try. If you prefer animation, I have a YouTube channel here. They're meant to be viewed in order, starting with 01. At the first sign of confusion, run for safety right back here.
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Re: Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby Holly on February 12th, 2019, 2:57 pm 

Faradave you rock! I've subscribed to your channel. I hope you don't mind if I make comments or questions, I know everyone loves to share their opinion but mine would be on delivery and if I don't understand something.
Thank you my new friend.
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Re: Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby TheVat on February 12th, 2019, 7:13 pm 

A small round of applesauce to Faradave.

My auto-correct waa unable to discern i meant "applause," it seems. Well, applesauce is good too, lots of phenols.
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Re: Inner Piece

Postby Faradave on February 12th, 2019, 11:35 pm 

applesauce 2.png
I shall contemplate the sound of one hand snacking.
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Re: Fundamental Forces

Postby bangstrom on February 13th, 2019, 2:21 am 

Holly » February 11th, 2019, 11:31 am wrote:What CAUSES the fundamental forces to be different? I realize they are what allow our Universe to exist but what allowed these forces to have the physics and forces they have?

This probably goes to the question of why is there something here instead of nothing?
What causes these forces to act in the way they do?


Holly » February 11th, 2019, 11:10 am wrote:Are the strings in String theory LITERAL or just a mathematical construct?


String theory is a mathematical construct that leads to a conundrum that appears to have no solution except to move on to the next higher dimension. Increasingly higher dimensions lead to more conundrums with no apparent end in sight. A reliance on mathematical formulas alone for a sense of reality and truth may be misguided. That said, thinking of particles literally as vibrating strings may be a valid concept. A string may be a particle consisting of a 3-D standing wave viewed in cross section.

Holly » February 11th, 2019, 11:10 am wrote:IF the strings are vibrating, WHAT causes them to have the energy to produce this vibration?
Is it possible if they are vibrating they cause noise or even music (I hear they are like Violin Strings).


The vibrations are at a frequency far too high to be heard but you have the right idea.

We can take a clue from Faradave’s two clocks. They are a single clock viewed from the front side and from the back side so they are one clock viewed from two different directions. We can’t see a clock from both or all sides at once but if we could see in 4-D we could.

If we could see quantum particles in 4-D space, they could pass through solid barriers (quantum tunneling), they could vanish and reappear (virtual particles), we could see the particle from all angles at once including from the inside. This is our instrumental view of quantum particles but our instruments don’t have the ‘benefit’ of a biological evolution that allows them to observe only in 3-D.

I like to visualize quantum particles as objects covered in LED lights, the flashing lights could make them appear to be spinning in more than one direction at once without breaking apart or they could appear to rotate axially and horizontally at the same time. They could also pulsate in a wavelike pattern giving us the presenting the image of the particle as a wavefunction.

We can only detect quantum properties one at a time so we can’t observe a particle from all angles at once but our instruments can see many facets of a particle from any angle including from the backside or the from the inside and the view from the inside would be a simple inverse of what we see from the outside (superposition).

What our instruments are seeing in 4-D is what our ordinary world would look like if we could also see macro objects in 4-D. This is why quantum particles make no sense when we try to apply these observations to our 3-D world. Particles are obeying the laws of a higher dimension.

Holly » February 11th, 2019, 6:42 pm wrote: That Cat that is Dead & Alive.... HOLLY COW!

Schroedinger’s cat can be simply visualized as a cat shape viewed from the left side or the right side or any other opposite angles. Schroedinger just went a little too far with his thought experiment. His cat is a stand in model for particles in superposition but particles do not come in dead and alive.

https://www.quora.com/What-capabilities ... D-universe

"You just raise everything one dimensional higher. For a 4D creature, all of us would appear differently from how we appear to each other. To its eyes, all parts of our bodies would be visible: like how we look at a 2D object, the 4D creature can view us, plus our insides, in all angles at the same time. We would appear in a rather different shape for that creature. And, just like how we can easily stick our finger inside a 2D figure, the creature can also fiddle with every part of our body without breaking us apart; it can directly interact with our bones without cutting through our skin. So, concealed properties such as bank vaults and prisons are basically defenseless in terms of physical guard against such a creature. A 4D creature can easily steal from a bank without breaking into it, and no 3D confinement will work against it. In fact, that creature will be literally invisible to us, just like how a 2D creature can’t see us (because we’re above it, and in Flatland, there is no direction such as up or down… not that a 2D creature can perceive such a direction anyway)."

"When higher dimensional objects interact with lower dimensional objects what the lower dimensional objects see is only a sliver of that higher dimensional object.  This sliver is only presented in the lower dimensional objects dimensions but its behavior obeys the interactions dictated by its properties in the higher dimension.  Thus, what the lower dimensional object will see may not make sense in the dimensional spectrum as the object being observed is obeying laws of a higher dimension or that exist in a higher dimension." 
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Re: Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby Holly on February 14th, 2019, 11:47 am 

https://physics.stackexchange.com/quest ... by-gravity

Question: Why doesn’t light travel in a straight line instead of being bent by gravity.

Please note the following information:

1. The first problem I have with the photon is the idea that it has energy but no mass. How is this even possible, where does this energy come from?
2. The second problem I have since it does NOT have mass then why is gravity effecting pure energy? Without mass what causes it to bend, why doesn’t it travel straight instead?

To me it is not intuitive why energy does not have mass but then this mass-less energy gets pulled by Gravity. Seems like a contradiction to me but I know it to be TRUE.
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Re: Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby davidm on February 14th, 2019, 12:07 pm 

Photons have no rest mass.

Photons, and all other objects, traverse geodesics — straight lines generalized to curved spaces. This is because spacetime is curved. Thus light, and everything else, is traveling the shortest distances between two points in curved spacetime.
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Re: Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby davidm on February 14th, 2019, 12:19 pm 

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Re: Using Your Full Potential

Postby Faradave on February 14th, 2019, 12:42 pm 

A good adjustment is to reconsider what you mean by mass. Recall Einstein gave us E = mc² for a particle at rest. So, mass is viewed as a form of potential energy: m = E/c². That energy exerts (and responds to) gravity is then no more surprising than with mass.

Another adjustment is to understand that "mass" in physics now refers to "rest mass", the mass as measured at rest. Since free photons are defined as inherently at speed limit c, they can't be at rest, so the term doesn't apply. But any object seen to be in motion has extra energy associated with that motion. That energy exhibits just as much gravity (i.e. gravitational mass) as any other kind of energy. As you know, photons are attributed energy.

Finally, let go of the common picture of a fundamental particle as some kind of very tiny, material pebble. When physicists refer to mass, they mean one of two identical kinds of mass, gravitational mass or inertial mass. The first means how much gravity it exerts, the second how much it resists change in motion. The two calculations always give the same number (thankfully).

Being immersed in air, you and I usually intuit air as a medium, so any particular parcel of air is just some of the medium. However when you add a little energy to that parcel, it "becomes" an object we call a hurricane. There's no solid object added to the system, yet we can define an "eye" to mark its location, and there is a "field" (of wind) emanating from it . This is how we localize particles in physics as well. They are a location associated with energy, from which fields are found to emanate. No pebble required.

hurricane.png
In physics, all particles have "intrinsic" spin.
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Re: A Straight Answer

Postby Faradave on February 14th, 2019, 1:09 pm 

Holly wrote:Why doesn’t light travel in a straight line instead of being bent by gravity.


Consistent with what davidm answered, here's a map of airline routes.

airline map.png
Is the north pole really as long as the equator or is that map distortion?

It looks as if pilots can't fly a straight line, wasting lots of fuel. In fact, they fly the straightest path they can. The problem is that we use a flat map to show a curved earth's surface. This causes map distortion, making the routes look curved. In fact, we would be better to define "straight" as the paths flown.

Similarly, our spacetime maps distort our 4D continuum especially where there's intense gravity. That doesn't fool light, which always finds the straightest path (i.e. "geodesic"). So, we'd do better to define "straight" as the path light would travel, than to accept the apparent flatness in our representations.
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Re: Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby PaulN on February 14th, 2019, 1:52 pm 

I don't know if this is quite right, but I think of mass as energy whose spacetime path is traversed slower than C.
Slow energy. One reason I have this notion is that one type of particle can be converted to another. To me, that only makes sense if both are really just knots of field energy. Ripples. If everything is just a ripple of energy, then converting one ripple to another sort of ripple seems more plausible. Everything is energy.

Did I pull on the bong too long?
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Re: Fast Times

Postby Faradave on February 14th, 2019, 2:13 pm 

PaulN wrote:I think of mass as energy whose spacetime path is traversed slower than C. Slow energy.
That seems fair.
The winds of a hurricane can be 200mph, while the hurricane itself meanders along at 25mph.

Ask any energetic 6 six year old on your office chair, spin is a way of going fast, even while staying in one place.

Now, if we just had time to figure what the "intrinsic" axis is. Hmm...
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Re: Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby Holly on February 14th, 2019, 3:42 pm 

I'm not sure how to respond to such amazing answers. I have come to the mecca of Quantum Mechanics. WOW, these are the questions I've been wondering about and now I get to go investigate it all. Then I will be back for a challenge to your theories so hold your sword close, I will be back for a VIRTUAL duel.
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Re: Fundamental forces, and related science questions

Postby bangstrom on February 15th, 2019, 5:12 am 

PaulN » February 14th, 2019, 12:52 pm wrote:I
Slow energy. One reason I have this notion is that one type of particle can be converted to another. To me, that only makes sense if both are really just knots of field energy. Ripples. If everything is just a ripple of energy, then converting one ripple to another sort of ripple seems more plausible. Everything is energy.


Your view is in sync with Milo Wolff and Geoff Haselhurst in their Wave Structure of Matter Theory (WSM) where “solid” particles are thought to be spherical standing waves in a universe of nothing but waves.

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Re: Good Vibes

Postby Faradave on February 15th, 2019, 12:04 pm 

Ask any energetic kid on a pogo stick, oscillation is a way of going fast, even while staying in the same place.

Same for "standing" waves.

1D spin = simple harmonic motion
2D spin = rotation
3D spin = Ψ (solid-angular)
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