Electrons, quarks and gluons made from something or nothing?

  • #1
Most articles said electrons, quarks and gluons are indivisible thus have no compositions unlike the other particles. So, does that means electrons, quarks and gluons are composed of nothing and these elementary particles are indeed 100% void?
 

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  • #2
sophiecentaur
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Most articles said electrons, quarks and gluons are indivisible thus have no compositions unlike the other particles. So, does that means electrons, quarks and gluons are composed of nothing and these elementary particles are indeed 100% void?
Why would that follow? A lot of your recent posts suggest you would rather speculate about fringe stuff than get the basics straight. What do you actually mean by "nothing"?
 
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  • #3
Why would that follow? A lot of your recent posts suggest you would rather speculate about fringe stuff than get the basics straight. What do you actually mean by "nothing"?

Nothing such as a perfect vacuum where there is no gas density at all. Most, including me, thought that since elementary particles like electrons, quarks and gluons are indivisible and have do not consist of compositions, I guess the only difference between void and elementary particles is that void is infinite while elementary particles have mass, charge, etc.
 
  • #4
Dale
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This is silly. “Indivisible” is not the same as “composed of nothing”. Fundamental particles are indivisible meaning that they are not composite particles. Not composite means they are not created by composing other things, “composite” and “composed” have the same root word. So since they are not composed they cannot be composed of nothing.

What would composed of nothing even mean? How could nothing be part of a composition?
 
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  • #5
This is silly. “Indivisible” is not the same as “composed of nothing”. Fundamental particles are indivisible meaning that they are not composite particles. Not composite means they are not created by composing other things, “composite” and “composed” have the same root word. So since they are not composed they cannot be composed of nothing.

What would composed of nothing even mean? How could nothing be part of a composition?
So, it is something then that composed those indivisible elementary particles. But we don't know what are those "something"... right?
 
  • #6
PeroK
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Most articles said electrons, quarks and gluons are indivisible thus have no compositions unlike the other particles. So, does that means electrons, quarks and gluons are composed of nothing and these elementary particles are indeed 100% void?
I fail to see how anyone could interpret "elementary particle" as vacuum. Something is fundamentally mixed up in the physics you have learned.
 
  • #7
I fail to see how anyone could interpret "elementary particle" as vacuum. Something is fundamentally mixed up in the physics you have learned.
Well, judging by the replies I guess elementary objects are actually composed of something that can't be divided into several compositions or parts. But then, does that means elementary objects are solid??? Not sure. I thought elementary particles are point particles in which they don't have boundaries or what not. That's why I thought those elementary objects are somehow similar to vacuum with the differences being elementary objects have mass, charge, current, etc. while vacuum, void or empty space doesn't have anything at all.
 
  • #8
PeroK
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Well, judging by the replies I guess elementary objects are actually composed of something that can't be divided into several compositions or parts. But then, does that means elementary objects are solid??? Not sure. I thought elementary particles are point particles in which they don't have boundaries or what not. That's why I thought those elementary objects are somehow similar to vacuum with the differences being elementary objects have mass, charge, current, etc. while vacuum, void or empty space doesn't have anything at all.
Classically, they are point particles. In the modern theory of particle physics, they are the quanta of the elementary quantum fields: the electron field, the quark field etc. That's why they are indivisible.

"Solid" is a state of macroscopic objects and cannot be applied to elementary particles themselves.
 
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  • #9
Classically, they are point particles. In the modern theory of particle physics, they are the quanta of the elementary quantum fields: the electron field, the quark field etc. That's why they are indivisible.

"Solid" is a state of macroscopic objects and cannot be applied to elementary particles themselves.
So, gaseous, liquid and solid don't apply to elementary particles.

But being indivisible, that still mean the elementary objects are composed of "something". Isn't it?
 
  • #10
PeroK
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So, gaseous, liquid and solid don't apply to elementary particles.
Exactly. These states of matter refer to how large numbers of atoms and molecules are configured. E.g. ice, liquid water and water vapour are all composed of the same ##H_2O## molecules - which themselves are systems of many elementary particles (electrons and quarks, with the quarks being composed into protons and neutrons).
But being indivisible, that still mean the elementary objects are composed of "something". Isn't it?
Define "something". Quantum fields are the basic building blocks of matter. Whether you consider them "something" or not is not a question of physics but terminology.
 
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  • #11
Define "something". Quantum fields are the basic building blocks of matter. Whether you consider them "something" or not is not a question of physics but terminology.
Have energy, charge, currents, etc. instead of just empty.
 
  • #12
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Have energy, charge, currents, etc. instead of just empty.
Then quantum fields are something. They have energy, for example, in terms of excitations of the field, which are better known as elementary particles.
 
  • #13
Then quantum fields are something. They have energy, for example, in terms of excitations of the field, which are better known as elementary particles.
Can we somehow say elementary particles are composed of "energy"?
 
  • #14
sophiecentaur
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So, it is something then that composed those indivisible elementary particles. But we don't know what are those "something"... right?
The "something" of which an electron is composed is 'electron', to the depth that it's been studied.
 
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  • #15
The "something" of which an electron is composed is 'electron', to the depth that it's been studied.
Itself composed of itself... sorry but doesn't that sounds circular?
 
  • #16
sophiecentaur
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Yes. Circular and it needn't involve 'nothing'. If you want to go deeper then you need to look at other forms of Physics - like String Theory, for instance. But that is more metaphysics than physics because we have no way to prove or disprove it.
 
  • #17
Yes. Circular and it needn't involve 'nothing'. If you want to go deeper then you need to look at other forms of Physics - like String Theory, for instance. But that is more metaphysics than physics because we have no way to prove or disprove it.
As elementary objects have mass, energy, charge, etc. can we safely say elementary objects are composed of "energy"?
 
  • #18
sophiecentaur
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As elementary objects have mass, energy, charge, etc. can we safely say elementary objects are composed of "energy"?
Saying there is a property which we call energy is not the same as saying it is composed of energy. I think you are looking for a nice tidy answer but I don't think one exists just yet.
 
  • #19
Saying there is a property which we call energy is not the same as saying it is composed of energy. I think you are looking for a nice tidy answer but I don't think one exists just yet.
So I'll just conclude elementary objects are composed of something that we don't know for sure, but not nothing.
 
  • #20
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Can we somehow say elementary particles are composed of "energy"?
Energy is a property of things. Quantum fields have energy, but it makes no sense to say things are composed of energy.
 
  • #21
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So I'll just conclude elementary objects are composed of something that we don't know for sure, but not nothing.
Elementary particles are the quanta of their corresponding quantum field. That is physics. You cannot say it differently and hope to achieve more meaning.
 
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  • #22
Elementary particles are the quanta of their corresponding quantum field. That is physics. You cannot say it differently and hope to achieve more meaning.
This is confusing because some people said the field is the product of the particle while others said otherwise.
 
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  • #23
Energy is a property of things. Quantum fields have energy, but it makes no sense to say things are composed of energy.
But I think it is better than saying the elementary particles are mostly space.
 
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  • #24
PeroK
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But I think it is better than saying the elementary particles are mostly space.
They are both equally wrong. A quantum field is something defined at every point in spacetime.
 
  • #25
They are both equally wrong. A quantum field is something defined at every point in spacetime.
Even saying it is composed of something that we are not sure yet?

I think it depends on context. When we are talking in the context of quantum physics, we say quantum fields are the ones that produced elementary particles but in classical physics it is the other way around. Is that correct?
 
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