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Particles in the Palette

  1. Dec 17, 2009 #1

    Char. Limit

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    Gold Member

    What does it mean to say a "red" gluon, or more accurately, a "red-antiblue" gluon?

    Are the gluons actually red and... er... not-blue?

    What does a gluon's "color" actually mean?

    P.S. I doubt the gluon is actually red. Or not-blue. Wait... at that small scale, the gluon probably is not blue.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    "Color" is just the somewhat whimsical name we give to the property that quarks have, that determines the interaction between them. It could have just as well been called "glizmorph", with the three values "qux", "blap" and "xyzzy".

    But "red", "green" and "blue" are easier to remember, and they convey the important idea that a combination of three quarks, one with each value (a "colorless" combination), has an almost zero net interaction with the strong force, in the same way that a hydrogen atom (one "+" charge and one "-" charge) is electrically neutral and has almost zero net interaction with an electric field.
  4. Dec 18, 2009 #3

    Char. Limit

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    Spin... colored quarks...

    Maybe physics terms shouldn't be left to physicists.

    Thanks for the help, jt.
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