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Question about intrinsic structure of the electron

  1. Dec 17, 2008 #1
    why is it so difficult for physicists to probed inside the internal structure of an electron ? You would think it would be easier to probed the inside of an electrons and get electrons crashing into each other since electrons are a lot less massive than protons and electrons are easier to accelerate than the proton. What kinds of energies would you have to produced to look inside the electron
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2008 #2
    Why do you say it's difficult ? What do you mean is difficult ?

    We probe distances (say of the order of) [itex]10^{-20}[/itex] m and we find out there is no substructure to the electron. We conclude that if the electron has a structure, then the size of the structure is less that those scales.

    In particular, it is generally admitted that the electron is pointlike, so we would forever only be able to provide such upper bounds. In this interpretation, there would be nothing especially difficult, apart from "reaching infinity". Yes, reaching infinity is difficult...
  4. Dec 17, 2008 #3
    Okay. I was misinformed. If we already probed the electron and concluded so far the electron has no substructure , shouldn't this debunk string theory? If we haven't found any substructure within the electron, then how would physicists proved that electrons are made of strings?
  5. Dec 17, 2008 #4


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    Strings are said to be of scales 10^30 meters, so strings are way below current resolution limit of 10^20 m

    So if one want to find strings inside electrons, you need like 10 orders of magnitude higher energy then what we have today:)

    Hence: String theory is consistent with todays knowledge about the structure of the electron.
  6. Dec 17, 2008 #5
    Direct string detection is certainly not what string experimentalists would be shooting at right now. String theorists try to come up with other kinds of predictions, any kind of deviations from standard model predictions would do the job actually.
  7. Dec 17, 2008 #6
    Isn't the purpose of the LHC to show whether or not the energies of certain elementary particles are supposed to matched the supposed energies of these so called strings?
  8. Dec 17, 2008 #7


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    LHC can perhaps find existence of extra dimensions, which is needed for string theory, but not anything else.
  9. Dec 17, 2008 #8
    It makes me very sad that you imagine this is the purpose of the LHC. At some point, we failed deeply in communication. The purpose of the LHC is to understand electroweak symmetry breaking. That is why it was built in the first place and what people should keep in mind as the most important priority. Anything beyond that is speculation, which can only depend on one's personal taste.
  10. Dec 17, 2008 #9
    You didn't fail in communicating with me because we never discussed the purposed of the LHC. I brought the LHC into the conversation. I am a novice . I don't know all the details about the basic operation of the LHC and all the reasons for why the LHC particle accelerator was built. At the rudimentary level, I only know that the purpose of the LHC is probed the energies of elementary particles that have never been detected before and primarily to detect and determined whether or not the Higgs boson particle exists.
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