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Quark Smashing

  1. Feb 6, 2014 #1
    Hello to all. I have a pretty general question. Hopefully it will require a somewhat technical answer. My question is this. Has there been any experiment where quarks have been smashed together? Perhaps at the lHC or Fermi. The other day I was told about such an experiment where two quarks were smashed and it was shown that the quarks are ultimately composed of nothing. They tried using this as an argument for a holographic universe. (Holographic as in the Matrix Movie would suggest). I tried finding that excitement and came up empty handed.. So has such an expire meant been conducted? If so were those the actual findings? Are our current particle accelerators equipped to run such experiments? Thank you and I await a response
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2014 #2


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    High energy collisions between two protons usually result in a direct collision between two of the quarks that make them up. This blog post by Matt Strassler has a good discussion.

    I think what they meant by "composed of nothing" is that, as far as we can tell, quarks are elementary particles -- they are not made of any 'smaller' components.
  4. Mar 3, 2014 #3
    Thanks that blog has been helping me out a lot. But here's another question. I understand that a particles mass is determined by energy. So why is it that I have heard to particles, such as quarks, as massless?
  5. Mar 4, 2014 #4


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    Can you clarify your question? "heard to particles" makes no sense, and I'm not sure what you meant to say.
  6. Mar 4, 2014 #5


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    You need to cite where exactly it is that you "heard" these things. This should start to be a habit that you need to do whenever you post here and want us to explain something you came across in your sources.

    What you heard is wrong. You need to start looking at the Particle Data book:


    Notice that they listed the masses of the quarks. So your question should be answered by now.

  7. Mar 4, 2014 #6
    I meant to say point particles. I think it was in a book about string theory. It was some years back though. But yes I must cite more. Duly noted
  8. Mar 4, 2014 #7
    I'm sorry I don't think it was zero mass. It was zero dimensional. My mistake.
  9. Mar 4, 2014 #8


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    So is the electron! It is considered a point particle, and it has mass! You don't have to go too exotic and use quarks as examples. The thing that flows in the conductors that bring electricity to your house has the same property!

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