## Matter and energy

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

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### Matter and energy

Is matter potential energy, and if it is, where is the hill? What is being stretched?
Last edited by mtbturtle on May 26th, 2012, 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: sp

Gregorygregg1
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### Re: Matter and energy

Not only does matter have potential energy, but it also has other kinds of energy.

Maybe you mean that to have and to be are the same thing according to the relativity theory; well, I will not discuss this.

What I can say is the fact that matter has different kind of energy such as electronic, nuclear, translational, vibrational, potential, etc.
Quantisierung
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### Re: Matter and energy

I'm pretty sure that GregoryGreg didn't mean whether matter can carry energy, but matter itself.

Try this:

http://www.fnal.gov/pub/today/archive_2 ... dMore.html

Lincoln
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### Re: Matter and energy

Lincoln

What exactly is this 'strong nuclear force'?
charon
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### Re: Matter and energy

Think about the nucleus of the atom. It consists of protons and neutrons. Protons have a positive charge, neutrons are neutral. Like charges repel. Thus the positive charges of the proton are all pushing each other away. If you do the math, you can prove that two protons touching another push away with a force of 50 pounds and a proton on the outside of a uranium nucleus pushes away with a force of 100 pounds. These are hefty forces for a person, let alone a proton.

Yet the nuclei of atoms don't all spontaneously explode. Something strong is holding against this repulsive force. Further, given that nuclei are spectacularly stable, the attractive force is at least 100 times stronger than the repulsive force. Thus there must be an attractive force in the nucleus of atoms that is very strong. You can call it the strong nuclear force. (And we do.)

If you look in the wikipedia for QCD (Quantum ChromoDynamics), you will find the true origins of the strong nuclear force, but that's harder to get your head around. The description above gives a very compelling reason to believe that there must be a strong force in the nucleus.

Lincoln
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### Re: Matter and energy

two protons touching another push away with a force of 50 pounds and a proton on the outside of a uranium nucleus pushes away with a force of 100 pounds.

Isn't this force cumulative? With a ball of 92 protons, I would think the protons at the center of this ball would be supporting a great deal more force than 50 or 100 pounds. In any case the proton at the center must feel more force acting upon it, than the proton on the surface of this ball of protons? This seems logical, but I'm sure there is a reason all protons feel the same force. Like the force diminishes over this short distance to the other protons and only interacts with the protons next to it?
Last edited by Watson on June 11th, 2012, 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Watson
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### Re: Matter and energy

There are several issues here. At the center of a uranium nucleus, the forces are balanced. Further, if you know about Faraday, you'll realize that the electric field inside a shell of charge is zero. I can prove that to you, but it's true.

However, there is a compressive force at the center due to the charges at the center repelling charges at the periphery (which, due to Newton's third law, results in a coresponding repulsive force). The bottom line is at the center of the nucleus, the forces are balanced.

All forces are cumulative. The electric charges add up (which is how I did the 100 pound thing...it's a combination of extra charge, but also larger radius of the uranium nucleus).

The strong force doesn't act like the electromagnetic force. It's behavior is more like Velcro. If you attach something with Velcro, as long as you're not pulling it away, it sits there happy with no apparent force. Pull, and it will resist. Get beyond the range of the Velcro connection, and there is no force. Similarly, with the nuclear force, if two particles are very close, they kind of ignore each other. If they get pulled away, the force (and energy) increases until they are separated by a distance of about one femtometer. This is the maximum force. Pull the objects further away than that, and there is no nuclear strong force between them.

So, not all protons feel the same force. My original numbers were representative to give a sense of scale. The real situation is considerably more complex, but outside the main point of the question.

Lincoln
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### Re: Matter and energy

Lincoln

Got it, thanks.
charon
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### Re: Matter and energy

Gregorygregg1 wrote:Is matter potential energy, and if it is, where is the hill? What is being stretched?

No. Matter and potential energy are defined quite differently. A free electron has energy but there is no potential energy to speak of. Some bodies, like an atom, can have potential energy.

What is this "hill" that you're referring to? Are you thinking about the potential energy "hill"? If so then that is merely a term used to decribe the shape of the potential energy function in certain instances.
pmb
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### Re: Matter and energy

An electron has potential if the Higgs boson is real. The interaction with the (massless) electron with the Higgs field gives mass to the electron.

The definition of mass at the very most fundamental level is exceedingly subtle and not appreciated by non-experts.

Lincoln
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### Re: Matter and energy

Lincoln wrote:An electron has potential if the Higgs boson is real. The interaction with the (massless) electron with the Higgs field gives mass to the electron.

The definition of mass at the very most fundamental level is exceedingly subtle and not appreciated by non-experts.

You are so correct. After reading up on the Higgs mechanism, I Have no more understanding of what it is than when I began, other than it is hypothetical.

The original question was prompted by the implication that, according to general relativity, E=MC^2, mass appears to be stored energy, therefore potential energy. Potential energy in general refers to energy of position or energy of stretch. It appears from the discussion that I may be mistaken in my interpretation of the relationship of mass and energy. Can you enlighten me?

Gregorygregg1
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### Re: Matter and energy

Lincoln wrote:An electron has potential if the Higgs boson is real. The interaction with the (massless) electron with the Higgs field gives mass to the electron.

I'm not familiar with the Higgs stuff.However I get the impression that the electron is a field and its the ineraction of the electron being in the field that gives it potential energy. If that's the case thenit seems to me that its not fundementally different than an charged particle being in en electric field. If so then the electron itself doesn't possess potential energy and it was that which I was speaking of.
pmb
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### Re: Matter and energy

GregoryGreg....

Try this:

http://www.fnal.gov/pub/today/archive_2 ... dMore.html

Mass is caused by the Higgs field, but that only is relevant to the quarks and leptons (and force carrying baryons). The bulk of the mass of the universe lies is protons and neutrons and that mass is tied up not in the mass of the quarks that make up the protons and neutrons, but in the potential and kinetic energy of the quarks.

The proton is like a little tornado, with quarks getting whipped around at near the speed of light. That means that the quarks have kinetic energy because they are moving and they have potential energy because something is causing them from getting flung apart. The mass of the proton (and, by extension, the visible universe) is caused by those kinds of energy and then Einstein's equation (of special relativity BTW, not general).

Lincoln
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### Re: Matter and energy

Lincoln wrote:The proton is like a little tornado, with quarks getting whipped around at near the speed of light. That means that the quarks have kinetic energy because they are moving and they have potential energy because something is causing them from getting flung apart. The mass of the proton (and, by extension, the visible universe) is caused by those kinds of energy and then Einstein's equation (of special relativity BTW, not general).

Given the tornado, could one perceive the kinetic energy of all this near light speed, held in check by some unknown force, as angular momentum, and from this legitimately form the premise that it is a manifestation of the stored energy of stretch?

In other words, it has been represented that mass stretches space. Is it not just as likely that mass is the manifestation of the stretch of space, and the "force" that holds the kinetic energy in check is the cohesiveness of space?

Gregorygregg1
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### Re: Matter and energy

Watson wrote:
two protons touching another push away with a force of 50 pounds and a proton on the outside of a uranium nucleus pushes away with a force of 100 pounds.

Isn't this force cumulative? With a ball of 92 protons, I would think the protons at the center of this ball would be supporting a great deal more force than 50 or 100 pounds. In any case the proton at the center must feel more force acting upon it, than the proton on the surface of this ball of protons? This seems logical, but I'm sure there is a reason all protons feel the same force. Like the force diminishes over this short distance to the other protons and only interacts with the protons next to it?

I don't know much, but reading what you two are talking about, it seems to me you speaking of gravity? The larger the mass the greater the gravitational pull.
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### Re: Matter and energy

GG

One can do all sorts of undisciplined speculation.

However, the force is known. It is the strong nuclear force and it is well-characterized.

We don't know how gravity works in the quantum realm. We know that at the larger sizes that concentrated energy (i.e. mass) warps space. We also know that the theory of general relativity fails in the quantum realm. We don't know at what size scale the quantum aspects of gravity become relevant. It's probably smaller than the size scales we are discussing here, but but that's unknown. Thus any speculation on the nature of gravity at these size scales is unconstrained by data.

That said, there's a difference between undisciplined and non-numerical speculation and real science. If the speculation is not sufficiently well spelled out that at least some basic predictions can be made, then the proper venue discussing it is a bar room BS session, not a scientific discussion.

Bottom line? We don't understand what is going on. But I'd lay a month's pay on your idea being wrong. Don't take it personally...most ideas on this are wrong. (Including mine.) That's why it's a safe bet.

Lincoln
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### Re: Matter and energy

more unfounded speculation here:
if concentrated matter "warps space", could not single particles themselves, which are as concentrated matter as you can get in one place, be simply "very warped space"?
edit to add: i suppose that is what quantum field theory says particles are, distortions in fields

moranity
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### Re: Matter and energy

They could be places where space is warped. They cannot "simply" be very warped space.

Further, there is no indication in our experiments that the correct spacetime to describe outcome of te measurements is anything other than Euclidean.

In short, the matter concentration near a quark or lepton is insufficient to warp space.

Lincoln
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### Re: Matter and energy

thanks for clearing that up Lincoln

moranity
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### Re: Matter and energy

We don't know, so we speculate. It's a lot like playing the lottery. The odds are 99.99% against, but it doesn't cost anything to play.

I was suggesting that the warping of space that results in the subatomic force fields is the result of Large forces of gravity outside the atom.

Gregorygregg1
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### Re: Matter and energy

There's nothing wrong with speculation. What's wrong is believing in speculation. Unfortunately, speculative physics frequently leads into people passionately holding really ridiculous positions.

In short, don't believe everything you think.

Lincoln
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### Re: Matter and energy

I really don't think. Thought just happens and I observe. For me it's a lot like fishing. You pull in some old tires and boots, and it's easy to throw them back; other times a new kind of fish. So you ask someone else if it might be good to eat. Then there's the question of who to ask. Some people delight in escargot. That's why you take it to the forum and not the bar.

Gregorygregg1
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