Age of a particle and related considerations

In summary, particles aged differently depending on the frame of reference they were in, and it was difficult to calculate an age for every particle in the universe.
  • #1
Leo.Ki
23
0
Hello

During the life time of an unstable particle, can it be said that this particle ages? Can the relativistic muons that zip through the atmosphere be considered to age slowlier wrt the Earth, or should a different concept be used?

If age does make sense when speaking of a particle, is it theoretically possible to attribute a relativistic age to each stable particle that exists since the big bang depending on the trajectory and the various speeds and gravitational influences the particle has undergone?
 
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  • #2
Leo.Ki said:
Hello

During the life time of an unstable particle, can it be said that this particle ages? Can the relativistic muons that zip through the atmosphere be considered to age slowlier wrt the Earth, or should a different concept be used?

If age does make sense when speaking of a particle, is it theoretically possible to attribute a relativistic age to each stable particle that exists since the big bang depending on the trajectory and the various speeds and gravitational influences the particle has undergone?

yes and no

theoretically it is possible to put a an age on a particle but the problem is "in relation to what?" We, as people, use minutes, years, weeks, months, years, etc... to standardize time. Like in relativity, the question is "who can you truly have a reference towards?" Particles that travel at different speeds have different ways to measure time, and thus, it becomes difficult to standardize everything. Particularly when speed changes do things get messy.

So, "yes" it is possible to say that muons, for instance, age slower than that of the Earth and it's ape-like inhabitants but "no" because of velocity and acceleration, things have had different systems to measure time and thus things like age, for everything in the universe (especially when a person lacks info on a particle's history) does it become impossible to put an age on everything. (Using all of these individual systems to measure age would give you an "infinite mess" of math :)
 
  • #3
Thanks for your explanations, pibomb.

Of course one should pick a preferred frame before one attempts to calculate the age of any particle. In spite of the practical impossibility, I wondered what kind of result we could expect for the average age of all particles in the universe. I suppose it would be less than the estimated age of the universe, due to the fact that everything moves around and thus ages slowlier. But now that I think of it, when we speak of the age of the universe, with respect to which frame of reference do we express it? That's tricky...
 
  • #4
For the observable universe select the frame of reference that give the minimum summed momentum vector and angular momentum.

I suspect that this will approximate the rest frame of the big bang.

Observationally the Cosmic Microwave Background should give the minimum total momentum.

Classically then one could then calculate the total time dilation (special and general relativity) of a total world line of a particle.

In quantum mechanics with particle indistinguishably and the wave function traveling all paths the calculations is more problematic.
 
  • #5
Thanks Larry
Yes, it is really problematic, but it was some kind of thought experiment.:smile: Maybe we could discover some kind of universe-wide equilibrium in the age of the particles, classically or quantically, since everything seems linked up by way of various symmetries. If the universe was composed of only two particles, they would influence each other to the point that maybe they would move symmetrically and age equally.
 

Related to Age of a particle and related considerations

1. What is the age of a particle?

The age of a particle refers to the amount of time that has passed since the particle was created. This can vary greatly depending on the type of particle and the conditions in which it was created.

2. How is the age of a particle determined?

The age of a particle can be determined through various methods such as radiometric dating, which measures the decay of unstable particles, or through observations of the particle's movement and interactions in a given environment.

3. Can a particle's age change?

In most cases, a particle's age cannot change. Once a particle is created, its age remains constant. However, in some cases, particles can undergo transformations or interactions that may alter their properties and characteristics.

4. Are there any factors that can affect the age of a particle?

Yes, there are several factors that can affect the age of a particle. These include the environment in which the particle exists, interactions with other particles, and the type of particle itself.

5. What are some implications of knowing the age of a particle?

Knowing the age of a particle can provide valuable information about the history and evolution of the universe. It can also help scientists understand the properties and behaviors of different types of particles, and aid in the development of theories and models in physics and cosmology.

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