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Proton: stable or unstable?

  1. Mar 16, 2004 #1
    Why is the half-life of a proton, what it is?

    Can any branch of Mathematics or Physics explain it or predict it.

    I have asked myself these very same questions many times before.

    We are closer to finding, a tachyon than a proton-decay.

    Not that I am complaining since proton decay, if it occurs could be instantly catastrophic similar to the reverse of the Big Bang.

    Why is the Half-life of the proton related to “The reverse of the Big Bang!”

    Remember the proton is made up from three quarks, two “up” and one “down” quark.

    A Hydrogen atom is one proton, - (two “up” quarks and one “down” quark)and one electron & photons.

    If photons could form electrons and the electron’s electrical properties could cause corresponding quarks to form, to maintain and satisfy all the laws of nature.

    The half-life of the proton could be the day this process is reversed, as quickly as it began.

    Another question to ask the String Theory - when a proton forms from three quarks or superstrings do they form three seperate strings within the proton or one larger string from the three smaller strings one large proton?

    We know the energy to break the proton back into three quarks, is that the force of the mediator the gluon or the energy to break the large superstring into three small strings.

    Has anyone considered surface tension in the latest string models?

    Once we have answered these questions, we will have already solve your question in the process, it can be used as a very good test.


    Terry Giblin
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2004 #2
    Using ideas from my own independent research:

    The proton (2 up-quark and 1 down-quark) is more stable than the electron.

    The proton is not a point-particle but its composite quark-structure is based on a tetrahedron configuration.

    The electron is a point-particle (for all practical purposes by experimental verification). But it is based on a cubic configuration.

    I am making the assertion that a tetrahedron is more stable than a cube.
  4. Apr 6, 2004 #3
    "I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!!!" - ask the Photon, he said it first.
  5. Apr 6, 2004 #4


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    According to some theories, the proton has a half-life > 1033 years. To date, no one has detected proton decay (you need a very large tank of water and wait a long time).

    All current models of the electron indicate complete stability.
  6. Apr 6, 2004 #5


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    I suppose this is not a very satisfying answer, but since baryon number is (at least to a good approximation!) conserved, and since there isn't a less massive baryon for the proton to decay into, then the lifetime of the proton has to be long, if not infinite.

    It's not that the proton doesn't want to decay. :biggrin:
  7. Apr 7, 2004 #6
    No proton half-life - can't be true or can it?

    I am pleased to note that the words "proton decay" and "half-life" are not both used in the same sentence.

    Unless my understanding of the scientific term "half-life" has changed in the past 20 years.

    Proton decay is to half-life, as singularity is to mathematics, as the YDSE is to Quantum Mechanics.

    How can we accept quantum tunnelling, yet not explain or detect photon 'decay' - based on the current understanding of term 'half-life'?

    Tachyons, neutrinos, photons, electrons, 6 quarks, 3-D, time but NO proton half-life.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2004
  8. Apr 7, 2004 #7
    Tachyons do not exist.
  9. Apr 8, 2004 #8
    So I've heard, everyone has to make up their own minds and wait for the answer to be announced....only 'time' will tell.
  10. Apr 15, 2004 #9
    Just like positron is electron going backward in time, tachyons are photons going backward in time. But photons do not have sense of time or do they?
  11. Apr 15, 2004 #10


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    Wrong! Tachyons are hypothetical particles (allowed by relativity theory) that go faster than light, but can't attain the speed of light for the same reason that ordinary stuff can't (Imagine v>c in the Lorentz transformation). However, there is no evidence that such things exist.
  12. Apr 16, 2004 #11
    Tachyons are not photons going back in time, as photons are particles that do not move through time. But that is sidetracking.

    The standard model unfortunately requires the proton to be unstable, but it has an incredibly long half life, that is why we don't all explode instantly.
  13. Apr 17, 2004 #12
    I think photon shares a feeling that I felt so often. What the matter with everything else they all seem to be rushing at the speed of 186,000 mi/s while I would rather be keeping still as what I'm doing now and by keeping still, I seem to live forever, not affected by the passage of the sand of time.
  14. Sep 26, 2004 #13
    For every action there is an opposite equal reaction.

    In the case of the photon, with a spin of one, you cannot determine the direction of its motion until it is over. By which time you cannot tell from which direction in which it came, - there is an equal and opposite reaction, therefore cancelling "each other" out or hiding the direction from which it came. - not exact but you get the idea.

    In the case of the tachyon, as I said previously "only time will tell", but at the moment I am keeping an open mind and remembering "nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, unless it has never travelled less than...."

    The most important question still remains, regardless of which theory you believe in, we currently have one fundermental fact to date.

    Since not one single proton decay, has ever been observered, defy's Quantum Machanics and Probability theorem.

    Can someone explain it to me?
  15. Sep 26, 2004 #14
    Protons can decay iff nature is supersymmetric at the local and global scale. But supergravity or gravity can never be supersymmetric at any scale. That is to say that if a graviton really exists, it will always be only a boson. There will never be a fermionic partner for it. Gravitons are truly the only particles in nature that lead a single life from birth to death. Are there virtual gravitons in the vacuum? They are truly real! But can gravitons or gravity be destroyed?
  16. Sep 26, 2004 #15
    Theoretical prediction, gravitons, Higgs bosons, and magnetic monopoles are the same particles viewed in different perspectives.
  17. Oct 18, 2004 #16
    My addition to the last post is that there might be a much deeper connection between all these undetectable fundamental particles and the invariance of magnetic helicity. It is known that magnetic helicity comes in two varieties: positive and negative. So, without giving any mathematical proof, one variety, say positive, can represent the north magnetic monopole and the negative helicity represents south monopole. The negative helicity can also be used to represent potential energy and potential mass, while the positive helicity can be used for kinetic energy and kinetic mass (similar to relativistic mass). The quantum vaccum is just a region of equal (+/-) helicity. But when more and more (-) helicities come together into a tight group, the symmetry is broken and the Higgs particle is formed. The basic unit of the negative helicity is called the graviton. And the basic unit of the positive helicity is the zero-point energy and twice this is the photon.
  18. Oct 18, 2004 #17
    It could be that the particle which initiates proton decay has itself decayed in the early universe and this is why proton decay has not been observed experimentally.
  19. Oct 18, 2004 #18


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    Personal or speculative theories are not welcome here. The answer given by Janitor is the accepted answer. The rest of the posts in this thread appear to be garbage.

    - Warren
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