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Science Brad
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(Originally posted on: 06-23-07 06:42:59 PM)
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http://www.physorg.com/news100753984.html

Quote:
Howard Georgi, a physicist at Harvard University, has recently published a paper on so-called unparticle physics, which suggests the existence of “unparticle stuff” that cannot be accounted for by the standard model. Appearing in a recent edition of Physical Review Letters, the paper says that unparticle stuff would be very different than anything seen before.
Georgi, a highly regarded physicist well-known for his pioneering work in areas including supersymmetry, quantum chromodynamics, and grand unified theories, explains that the low-energy physics of nontrivial scale-invariance cannot be described in terms of particles. In this initial investigation of the idea, he gives a quantitative scenario of the production of unparticle stuff, and predicts how it could be experimentally detected in the upcoming Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful particle accelerator that will open in early 2008.

In scale-invariant theory—where objects don’t change when their dimensional qualities are multiplied by a rescaling parameter—the concept of particles doesn’t work because most particles have a definite nonzero mass. In quantum mechanics, this isn’t a problem because the standard model does not have scale-invariance. But Georgi suggests that there could be an undiscovered sector of the standard model that is exactly scale-invariant.

“I have been having a lot of fun with this,” Georgi told PhysOrg.com. “It is a phenomenon that has been understood mathematically for a long time, in the sense that we know of theories that have the peculiar property of scale-invariance. It is hard to describe this because it is so different from what we are used to. For us it makes a big difference whether we measure masses in grams or kilograms. But in a scale-invariant world, it makes no difference at all.”

Georgi explains that photons, which are particles of light, have the property of scale invariance because they have zero mass. Multiplying all the photon energies by a factor of 1000 would make them look exactly the same.

“Clever theorists (like Ken Wilson) showed long ago that there were crazier possibilities which do not involve particles with zero mass, but still have the property that energies can be multiplied by any factor to give a physically equivalent theory,” Georgi said. “[But] this is impossible if there are particles with any definite nonzero mass. That is why I called this ‘unparticle’ stuff.”

This scale-invariant sector would interact very weakly with the rest of the standard model, making it possible to observe evidence for unparticle stuff, if it exists. The unparticle theory is a high-energy theory that contains both standard model fields and “Banks-Zaks” fields (which has scale-invariance at an infrared point). The two fields can interact through the interactions of ordinary particles under high enough machine energy or a low enough mass scale.

“If all of the stuff that is scale-invariant couples to all the stuff that isn't in a way that gets weaker and weaker as the energy gets lower, then it could be that, at the energies we can probe today, we just don't see the unparticle stuff at all,” Georgi explained. “There could be a scale-invariant world separate from our own that is hidden from us at low energies because its interactions with us are so weak.”

These particle interactions would appear to have missing energy and momentum distributions. Georgi has calculated the peculiar distributions of missing energy for the decay of a top quark, which would signify the production of unparticle stuff.

“The very confusing question of ‘What does unparticle suff look like?’ gets replaced by a simpler question: ‘How does unparticle stuff begin to show up as the energy of our experiments is increased?’” he said.

He explained that a good way of understanding unparticle stuff is with neutrinos. Neutrinos have some properties in common with unparticle stuff. For example, neutrinos are nearly massless and therefore nearly scale invariant. They couple very weakly to ordinary matter at low energies, and the effect of the coupling increases as the energy increases.

“Very often, in a scattering experiment, we can infer the existence of neutrinos by adding up the energy and momentum of the colliding particles and subtracting the energy and momentum of all the particles we can see to get the energy and momentum of the ‘missing’ (which just means that we don’t see them because they escape our detectors without interacting) neutrinos,” he said. “By doing the scattering many times, we can measure a probability distribution for the missing energy and momentum. And by looking at the distribution, we can tell whether there is one or two or more neutrinos missing in the particular process we are studying.

“An interesting result of my analysis is that such a distribution for a process that produces unparticles looks like the distribution for a fractional number of massless particles,” he added. “This is weird, but it follows very simply from the scale invariance of the unparticles. It is the first glimmer of an answer to the question of how unparticles begin to show up.”

Because the signatures of unparticle stuff would be very distinct, LHC experiments have the potential to verify the existence of unparticle stuff immediately. Georgi says that, in his opinion, unparticle stuff would be a more striking discovery than supersymmetry or extra dimensions, both of which point to just more new particles. Unparticle stuff, on the other hand, would be a different concept altogether.

“I, and a number of other researchers, am now trying to push these ideas harder,” Georgi said. “Other weird properties of unparticles have already emerged. I expect more. It is great fun. Of course, it would be even greater fun if we actually saw stuff like this at the LHC. But even if we don’t, I believe that analyses like this are useful because they can shake us out of preconceptions that could cause us to miss important physics as the energy of our machines grows.”

Citation: Georgi, Howard. “Unparticle Physics.” Physical Review Letters 98, 221601 (2007).


This is quite a fascinating new idea! Unparticles, if they exist, would certainly open up a whole new frontier of things to explore and study.

edit: By request here is a summary:

Basically all particles are scale variant. That is, if you were to say, multiply all their properties by 1000 you would have a much different particle. A photon is an example of a scale invariant particle because it has no mass and so if you multiply all its properties by 1000 you still have a photon. Any particle with a definite mass therefore cannot be scale invariant. Hence the name 'unparticle' for things with a small, but definite mass that would be scale invariant via a certain type of symmetry field.

By their nature they would interact very weakly with regular particles, much more weakly than neutrinos, but as the energies involved get higher, just like with neutrinos, they would start to interact more strongly. Because they have scale-invariance if one were to look for their signature in particle detectors, they would show up as if they were fractional particles.

One goes about finding weakly interacting particles [or in this case unparticles] by looking at signatures of missing energy and how it compares to the momenta and energy of what is seen. Because of how energy is conserved in collisions, and how momentum is conserved it is then like solving for x and y [energy and momentum] given two equations with two unknowns.

The reason for a fractional particle signature can best be illustrated by another scale-invariant entity, a fractal. It shows up with having a fractional dimension. Further, since this fractional signature would be quite distinct if one looked for it, it can be looked for immediately given energy scales at Fermilab or the LHC when it comes online.

edit 2:
I have done more research on these things, and I have found that part of what it means for it to have a fractional particle signature is that it is possible that these things can have fractional units of mass. That is, instead of a particle, which has units of mass of kg, these could have kgn where n is [0,1), 0 being no mass. But wait, there is more, the power can be complex in some cases, so you would be likely to have kg0+bi for the mass where b is any number. Truly these unparticles are bizzare things.

I also have the PRL written by Dr. Georgi if anyone is interested in taking a look at it. It isn't heavy on mathematics, but what math is in there will probably be beyond people who are not experts sadly.
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This reply was last edited on 06-26-07 01:55:16 PM by Science Brad.
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Reply 1 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 12:38:14 AM)
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thread needs more electrocuted bear n cowbell.

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Reply 2 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 12:59:10 AM)
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Hey, will this discover cure world famine, poverty, and ultimately make humans less greedy and destructive beings?

Haha, doubt it. Even further, I doubt the need or validity of even studying such worthless science. If it does yield a technology, all it will do is increase the rate of consumption in this society so that some other marvelous invention can do the same. Technology = teh suxorz.
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Reply 3 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 01:39:53 AM)
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I am sure you are aware of the irony of criticizing technology via a technological marvel such as the internet.

At any rate, no, there is no foreseeable application of studying these unparticles, but because they are such new things even in theory, should they exist and further study is done, then yes, perhaps some new technology will be developed. Perhaps it will benefit us immensely, perhaps not. That is just the nature of advancement. IT'SA MEA! MARIO!
"We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces." -Carl Sagan
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Reply 4 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 01:56:09 AM)
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Quote:
I am sure you are aware of the irony of criticizing technology via a technological marvel such as the internet.



Indeed.

But wait, what has the Internet done for humanity?

Let's see, it is has increased global competition in capitalism. By extension, it has increased profits, consumption, use, and ultimatley, waste of natural resources. And, it has succeeded in furthering the culture of consumerism and the plague which is rapidly engulfing this planet; mankind.

You know, for a better world less polluted with mankind and his trinkets, I think I would give up the dubious pleasure of chatting with you, Science Brad.

Quote:
At any rate, no, there is no foreseeable application of studying these unparticles, but because they are such new things even in theory, should they exist and further study is done, then yes, perhaps some new technology will be developed. Perhaps it will benefit us immensely, perhaps not. That is just the nature of advancement.


I'm afraid I don't share the blind, ignorant faith you do.
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Reply 5 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 02:03:00 AM)
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I'm in no mood to be trolled by you Vissario.

As such I will state the following:

You are ignoring the way global communication has also helped to shatter inter-cultural barriers and made communication between distant places quite possible. Second, if you care so much then please by all means give up the dubious pleasure. Nobody is holding you here against your will you know.


Second:There is no faith in what I said. If you look carefully you notice I said it is possible it could lead to new technology. POSSIBLE, not definitly. POSSIBLE, as in there is a chance it may or may not lead to anything. And further, if it does lead to something it is POSSIBLE that it will either benefit or not benefit us. There is no need for faith there as those are really the only possible outcomes. Either it does or it doesn't, and if it does, either it helps or doesn't. So please do elaborate on your troll on blind, ignorant faith Vissario as you see some option that I don't that is different from the scenarios outlined above.


Also, it would be nice if someone actually made some comment on the actual article. I know this is ID and all, but a little discussion can't hurt, can it?
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Reply 6 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 02:04:03 AM)
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I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS THREAD AAAAAAAARRRRRRGHHHHH
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Reply 7 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 02:13:13 AM)
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I know this is ID and all, but a little discussion can't hurt, can it?


Hate to burst your bubble, but there isn't exactly much to comment about on the posted article.

Sure, it sounds...interesting...if you are a physics graduate student like yourself. With peers, it may even be worthy of discussion. But here in INTL, where most people are unlikely to be as well versed in the tedious details and phenomena of your field, it is unlikely any of us will be able to entertain any discussion with susbtance on the topic. I suppose that was all just an elaborate "WHAAH?? WAT R PHSYICS?"

Quote:
So please do elaborate on your troll on blind, ignorant faith Vissario as you see some option that I don't that is different from the scenarios outlined above.



You're correct on that issue. I misread what you had said and mistook your symantics to be an affrimative.

Quote:
You are ignoring the way global communication has also helped to shatter inter-cultural barriers and made communication between distant places quite possible.


So what?

When the end comes and the Earth is exhausted of resources, we will all be very well versed in the excesses of other societies?
Science Brad
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Reply 8 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 02:16:52 AM)
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Quoted from vissario:
Quote:
I know this is ID and all, but a little discussion can't hurt, can it?


Hate to burst your bubble, but there isn't exactly much to comment about on the posted article.

Sure, it sounds...interesting...if you are a physics graduate student like yourself. With peers, it may even be worthy of discussion. But here in INTL, where most people are unlikely to be as well versed in the tedious details and phenomena of your field, it is unlikely any of us will be able to entertain any discussion with susbtance on the topic. I suppose that was all just an elaborate "WHAAH?? WAT R PHSYICS?"


There are some smart people on here who can discuss stuff like this. Sure there won't be any discussion of gauge symmetries or anything but still enough that someone might take something away. One doesn't have to specialize in something to discuss basics. I enjoy talks about genetics and computers and other things but I am hardly an expert in any of those.

Quote:

Quote:
So please do elaborate on your troll on blind, ignorant faith Vissario as you see some option that I don't that is different from the scenarios outlined above.



You're correct on that issue. I misread what you had said and mistook your symantics to be an affrimative.


Well that is good.

Quote:

Quote:
You are ignoring the way global communication has also helped to shatter inter-cultural barriers and made communication between distant places quite possible.


So what?

When the end comes and the Earth is exhausted of resources, we will all be very well versed in the excesses of other societies?

Just when do you think the Earth will be exhausted of resources?
"We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces." -Carl Sagan
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Reply 9 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 02:29:02 AM)
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Just when do you think the Earth will be exhausted of resources?


When there are 9+ billion people around by 2030 and there isn't enough water to go around in developing nations. What do you get when resources become a premium? Friendly competition with nuclear weapons!

Doomsday scenario aside, consumption on this planet will reach an unbelievable point when people from the current developing world attempt to live the lifestyles now associated with the developed world. When 4 billion Chinese and Indian people attempt to live like the West, there is going to be a massive logistical problem supply their life style on this planet. As it stand, the average American consumes nearly 4 time the resources of the average person living in China or India, and it is only going to get worse, not better. And who is to blame for this? Our good friend technology and his magician called science!
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Reply 10 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 02:34:56 AM)
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Or rather short-sighted people who don't realize when it is time to invest in better technology like solar or fission to generate power. Or perhaps you could blame people for having children. If there were less people no problem. I personally don't see technology as the problem so much as it is people who have a lack of understanding on how the world works [see my sig quote] and leaders who wish to maximize immediate benefits over long-term ones.
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Reply 11 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 03:15:37 AM)
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Can someone explain how this is going to benefit my quality of life?
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Reply 12 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 04:25:27 AM)
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Something tells me that the first major technological development that this might inspire, if any, would be a weapon.

Probably a new form of WMD.
That just seems to be the trend in new and exciting technologies.

Think about it, in no particular order:
-Gunpowder
First use: cannons

-Nuclear Fission
First use: Bombs

-Iron/Bronze/Steel
First uses: Weapons/Armor

Hell even electronics. As far as I know the microchip was developed by NASA, right? They put it in their space rockets in order for them to survive better in space and upon re-entry. That's all fine and good, but we must remember the purpose of the space program: To be better than Russia.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if half the motive for the entire Apollo Program was to get a leg-up on missile launching technology.


Anyway, I hope that men can eventually discover wonderful things and then do wonderful things with those discoveries, instead of making bombs first.


Edit:
Brad, don't worry about vissario. He's clueless.
Ok, that's good to know...

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Reply 13 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 04:36:20 AM)
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WHY AM I STILL READING THIS?!?! ARRRRRRGGGGHHHH!
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Reply 14 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 05:10:25 AM)
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Quoted from Menion:
Something tells me that the first major technological development that this might inspire, if any, would be a weapon.

Probably a new form of WMD.
That just seems to be the trend in new and exciting technologies.


That may be partially true because it tends to be easier to create things that destroy rather than create. Entropy and all that. It's much more simple to create a nuclear bomb than it is to create a nuclear reactor. Nuclear bombs just need the reaction to happen, nuclear power plans need not only the reaction to happen but also to be able to control that reaction and make that release of energy usable.
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Reply 15 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 09:18:09 AM)
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vissario you are easily the most angering person on these forums

On-topic, this seems pretty cool. I can't wait to see what we'll do with the LHC.
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Reply 16 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 10:56:31 AM)
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Quoted from Menion:

Think about it, in no particular order:
-Gunpowder
First use: cannons


China, fireworks. Then rudimentary rockets.

Perhaps in the western world weapons came first.
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Reply 17 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 12:04:13 PM)
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Quote:
Or perhaps you could blame people for having children


Or perhaps I could blame scientists for concentrating on accentuating human vice and destruction by allowing more and more of them to exist on the planet?

Quote:
-Iron/Bronze/Steel
First uses: Weapons/Armor



Unlikely.

Bronze was a derivative of the copper age which led to the bronze age and was first used for stronger tools for more efficient mining and farming. It is only after this which it became prolific with weapon manufacturing. The same could be said of Iron and even more-so for steel as it is was the material which enabled the industrial revolution.

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vissario you are easily the most angering person on these forums


If I'm giving you a heart attack in the works just ignore me.
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Reply 18 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 12:09:04 PM)
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I shouldn't reply because it's kind of off-topic, but I like history much better than physics, so...
Quote:
-Iron/Bronze/Steel
First uses: Weapons/Armor

In addition to what vissario said, there were stone and bone weapons before people started using metals, and it's hard to draw the line between tools and weapons.

Also, Brad, could you bold the most relevant parts in that article, or summarize it somehow?
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Reply 19 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 12:47:01 PM)
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This girl I go to school with got a Co-Op placement at CERN in Europe. I'm so fuckin jealous.
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Reply 20 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 01:03:44 PM)
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nevermind, i realize i got beaten to a point
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Reply 21 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 01:23:35 PM)
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Quoted from Tarfagus:
This girl I go to school with got a Co-Op placement at CERN in Europe. I'm so fuckin jealous.


is she asian?

i bet shes asian
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Reply 22 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 01:57:00 PM)
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No, she's like Bulgarian or something ridiculous.
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Reply 23 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 02:44:36 PM)
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O yea those Bulgarian kids do calculus in like 6th grade.
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Reply 24 of 41 (Originally posted on: 06-24-07 03:18:04 PM)
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yea but theyre from bulgaria so they lose in the end
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"Being tackled is fun cause its like getting a great big hug from a strong guy. You get to lose yourself in his arms...It only hurts when they let go MAGUSMAGUSMAGUSMAGUS" - Shady Milkman

"I'm not even sure if believe in abortions period...but man do I hate retards" - Dimitrios
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