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Particles as different states of a matter field.

  1. Aug 12, 2010 #1


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    This is too wild to post on beyond standard model but I am not proposing anything here. Just want to know your thoughts.

    Is it reasonably possible to conceive particles as solitons corresponding to metastable states of a unique universal matter field?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2010 #2
    It'd fit just fine in the quantum physics section methinks. In quantum field theory (which
    underlies the standard model), particles are simply the quantised excitations of quantum
    fields. They don't have (and to the extent of my knowledge, are not) to be described by
    solitons though; free, initially localised particles will spread out in qft just as they do in
    elementary qm.
  4. Aug 12, 2010 #3


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    I am really thinking about solitons. Let me make a rough analogy. For example, if we really look close to a particle at an instant of time, say, an electron, we would see it as a kind of "iceberg floating on water". "Water" being that kind of universal matter field. We'd look to a photon, and we'd see a different kind of "iceberg".
  5. Aug 12, 2010 #4
    The problem is that different kinds of particles have different intrinsic spin. Spin, according to QFT, is a consequence of the representation of the Lorentz group in which the field associated with a particular type of particle happens to be.

    Leptons and quarks are spin-1/2 particles (although not all of them are with the same chirality), while the gauge bosons (the eight gluons for the strong interaction and the [itex]W^{\pm}[/itex], Z0 and the photon for the electroweak interaction) are spin-1 particles and the Higgs boson is predicted to be a spin-0 particle.

    If all these particles are to be considered excitations of the same matter field, then this field would have to be in some complicated mixed representation of the Lorentz group and your theory would have to account for the observed decomposition of this field in two sub-sectors.
  6. Aug 12, 2010 #5
    Then I'm afraid your speculation is groundless. No generally accepted theory of a
    'universal matter field' exists AFAIK; in QFT, every kind of particle (and its
    antiparticle) are associated to a different field (say, an electronic-positronic field
    for electrons/positrons, or the electromagnetic field for photons), but no single
    universal field.

    Why are you thinking specifically of solitons anyway?
  7. Aug 12, 2010 #6
    The OP probably became aware of the paper:

    N. J. Zabusky, M. D. Kruskal, Phys. Rev. Lett. 15, 240–243 (1965)
  8. Aug 12, 2010 #7
    I see. I assumed (s)he wanted a non-dispersive solution for matter-waves, so
    (s)he could have particles that remained localised at all times. I just wanted a
    confirmation from him/her.
  9. Aug 12, 2010 #8
    Another intersting paper on the subject with some useful references in it might be:

    S. Coleman, Phys. Rev. D 11. 2088 (1975)
  10. Aug 12, 2010 #9


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    More or less like that. You could say that I would be thinking about breaking large symmetries , but something that has more of a phase change aesthetic. (This is why I am posting on General Physics).

    For example, take the triple point:


    Particles would coexist at the fusion line, but with a huge enthalpy of fusion. Think about as many "triple" points as it gets to break symmetries.
  11. Aug 12, 2010 #10
    Errrr... I'm afraid I'm not following you.
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