What has mass, but is not considered matter?

  • #1
Hello,

I am wondering, besides the W and Z bosons of the weak force, if there is anything else in the universe that has mass, but does not qualify as matter.

neutrino's? hmm... maybe... anything else?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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By what definition of matter do W and Z bosons not qualify?
 
  • #3
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The usual definition of matter is something that has mass and takes up space. Since W and Z bosons don't follow the Pauli exclusion principle they don't take up space and therefore are not matter. At least, that is my understanding of the justification.

Neutrinos are fermions so they take up space and have some small mass.
 
  • #4
So neutrino's are actually instances of matter,...
so, besides the W and Z boson's of the weak force , there is no exception ? -there is no instance of mass exclusive of matter??? so I can say, 'excepting the W and Z boson's of the weak force, there is no instance of massive phenomena outside the context of a material body' ??????

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  • #5
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Photons and Gluons have mass, they just have no rest mass. I think mesons will also qualify, being bosons(?)
 
  • #6
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The Higgs boson has (rest) mass, and is a boson, so it won't qualify as matter in your classification scheme.
 
  • #7
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Photons and Gluons have mass, they just have no rest mass. I think mesons will also qualify, being bosons(?)
They are composite bosons, however. If you try to squeeze them into a tiny volume, then they would start feeling their internal structure, containing 2 fermions, so the Pauli exclusion principle will kick in. Some are charged, so they repel via the electrostatic force.
 
  • #8
ah, yes, rest mass, this is what I meant.

So, please, is this a correct statement:

"everything with REST mass is also matter"
 
  • #9
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ah, yes, rest mass, this is what I meant.

So, please, is this a correct statement:

"everything with REST mass is also matter"
I would say yes, but, as far as I am concerned, that would not mean that something without rest mass is not matter.
 
  • #10
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So, please, is this a correct statement:

"everything with REST mass is also matter"
Not according to the usual definition of matter. The W and Z bosons have rest mass, but are not considered matter since they do not take up space. Similarly with the Higgs boson, should it be discovered.
 
  • #11
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The usual definition of matter is something that has mass and takes up space. Since W and Z bosons don't follow the Pauli exclusion principle they don't take up space and therefore are not matter. At least, that is my understanding of the justification.

Neutrinos are fermions so they take up space and have some small mass.
All types of mesons (particles made of one quark and one anti-quark), of which there are many kinds, and all of which all have mass, have integer spin and therefore don't follow the Pauli exclusion principles.
 
  • #12
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You don't even need to go to something as exotic as mesons. You can consider 4He nucleii which are also bosons, but much more stable than mesons. Their bosonic properties are important in superfluidity.

However, even though they do not follow the Pauli exclusion principle at large scales they still occupy space. If you try to compress a composite bosonic fluid to densities smaller than the internal structure of the underlying fermions then the Pauli exclusion principle does come in. Thus bosons composed of fermions do occupy space.
 
  • #13
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But you still cannot put a bunch of mesons of same kind at the same place, since at close distance, the quarks will Pauli exclude themselves.
 
  • #14
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I would say matter is everything that is described by an action. In this respect, it has internal degrees of freedom, and it evolves under deterministic principles, and it is coupled to other matter via interaction actions.
 
  • #15
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I have answered above using the standard definition. The one you proposed is not the standard definition, but I have no objection in principle. Or rather, I don't like semantic debates.

I would point out that your definition classifies light and even gravity as matter. I don't know if that was your intention, but I think that most people would reject such a classification.
 
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  • #16
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I have answered above using the standard definition. The one you proposed is not the standard definition, but I have no objection in principle. Or rather, I don't like semantic debates.

I would point out that your definition classifies light and even gravity as matter. I don't know if that was your intention, but I think that most people would reject such a classification.
Yes, this was exactly my intetntion! To clasify light and gravitation as a form of matter. English is not my native language, but, I think one needs to distinguish between matter and substance. I think what you defined as matter is actually substance. Fields are also a form of matter in a broader sense of the word.
 
  • #17
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Yes, this was exactly my intetntion! To clasify light and gravitation as a form of matter.
As long as you realize that is very non standard and not what is usually meant by the word "matter". The deliberate use of such a non-standard definition will cause difficulties in communication, but isn't wrong per se.
 
  • #18
><
basically I am looking for a bottom-line definition of matter, (something that 'takes up space',) as exlcusive from anything else that exhibits only the property of mass.

I think that the mass-energy equivalance principle really roughs up this delimitation.

but... I suppose it is the case that, fundamentally, what is essential for the formation of matter is an atomic structure? (but we said that neutrino's are 'matter'... if they take up space, even so little, are still so dominant and pervasive in the universe, then surely this would mean they would interact with regular matter on a regular basis?
 
  • #19
--ps, do you assume that neutrino's are considered matter as stemming form the assumption of the mass-energy equivalance principle??
 
  • #20
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I guess my definition of matter is due to the following philosophical theory:
Materialism
noun
2. the philosophical theory that regards matter and its motions as constituting the universe, and all phenomena, including those of mind, as due to material agencies.

The definition of matter that you are alluding to is:
matter
noun
1. the substance or substances of which any physical object consists or is composed: the matter of which the earth is made.
2. physical or corporeal substance in general, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, especially as distinguished from incorporeal substance, as spirit or mind, or from qualities, actions, and the like.
3. something that occupies space.
4. a particular kind of substance: coloring matter.
5. a situation, state, affair, or business: a trivial matter.
 
  • #21
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basically I am looking for a bottom-line definition of matter,
I am not sure that there is a such thing as a bottom line definition. There are definitions of varying levels of acceptance. The most common one is: "matter is anything which occupies space and has rest mass".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matter
 

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