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Top quark size

  1. Feb 11, 2010 #1
    I know that particle accelerators have created and observed top quarks. Also, that they have measured their mass. However, I do not find if we have detected their size (or even attempted to detect their diameter, it would be hard to because they decay so quickly). I find it interesting that a single quark can have more mass than a whole proton. It would be logical to me to assume that the top might actually be larger in diameter than a proton. Note: I understand that we currently treat quarks as "point particles", but I'm concerned with if it could actually be possible that the top be larger than a proton, i.e. do we have proof that they are smaller than a proton?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2010 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    No measurement has been made, but it is almost certainly smaller than a proton (which contains multiple quarks).
  4. Feb 12, 2010 #3


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    Since no quarks can be stand alone, it seems that it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to get a size.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  5. Feb 12, 2010 #4


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    Probably the form factor would have some influence in the shape of the "particle shower" that comes after the decay of the top, so I'd bet that it is pretty a point particle and that, if it is not, the LHC will be able to say.

    Now, it is reasonable to suspect that something is going on with the top quark, if only because of its yukawa coupling, 0.98..., very near unity.
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