What is mass?

  • Thread starter DDarcade
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  • #1
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Can anyone tell me what they think matter is? What they think composes protons, neutrons, electrons, positrons, etc?
 
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  • #2
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organized state of energy maybe?
 
  • #3
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organized state of energy maybe?

Yes! I like it... How could we test this?
 
  • #4
Vanadium 50
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I think you're already confusing two things: matter and mass. Matter is stuff; mass is a property of stuff.
 
  • #5
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I think you're already confusing two things: matter and mass. Matter is stuff; mass is a property of stuff.

Your right, matter is commonly defined as being anything that has mass and that takes up space. Lets just look at this relationship and try to explain what matter is and ultimately mass.
 
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  • #6
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DDarcade this physics site is not a speculation site. You can only ask people to tell you what the current 'research' and papers say.

I could tell you that I think protons, neutrons, electrons, positrons are simply super long strands of light that are travelling in very localised self-confined circular paths generating localised drag (ergo charge), with less anticlockwise faster em for electrons, more clockwise slower em for protons, a combine of the two for neutrons and less clockwise faster em for positrons; but this would purely be my speculation and not part of any recognised scientific research.

There is little point in asking for speculation. Just ask questions to seek clarification on accepted theories.
Unfortunately even those get ignored (as I constantly find to my distress).
 
  • #7
DDarcade this physics site is not a speculation site. You can only ask people to tell you what the current 'research' and papers say.

Huh? Does that mean that people can't discuss ideas? I was under the impression that as long as you are willing to accept established facts, you can speculate all you want about things that aren't facts yet. It seems to me, that what you are saying would mean that the forefront of physics research would be secluded from posting here. Isn't string theory, LQG, E8 etc highly speculative?

Where's the line here?

I for one has never read anything even remotely adequate in explaining what mass/energy is. It's all more about how it behaves?

So, to me, the question from the OP sounds like one where it IS ok to speculate.

But maybe it's just philosophy, I don't know.

/Frederic
 
  • #8
ZapperZ
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Huh? Does that mean that people can't discuss ideas? I was under the impression that as long as you are willing to accept established facts, you can speculate all you want about things that aren't facts yet. It seems to me, that what you are saying would mean that the forefront of physics research would be secluded from posting here. Isn't string theory, LQG, E8 etc highly speculative?

Where's the line here?

I for one has never read anything even remotely adequate in explaining what mass/energy is. It's all more about how it behaves?

So, to me, the question from the OP sounds like one where it IS ok to speculate.

But maybe it's just philosophy, I don't know.

/Frederic

If the "speculation" is not based on peer-reviewed papers, then it doesn't belong here and one is making one own's personal theory. It then can only be done in the IR forum, not in the main forum on here. Our policy on speculative, personal theory has been clearly outlined in the PF Guidelines that everyone has agreed to upon joining.

Zz.
 
  • #9
ZapperZ
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There is a very good review of the question "What is mass?" written by John Roche[1] a few years ago. I strongly suggest people intending to tackle this question start by reading that paper first because it will clear up a number of common confusion and misunderstanding. Before one can even attempt at tackling such a question, it is imperative that one understands the basic knowledge of what is involved first.

Zz.

[1] J. Roche, Eur. J. Phys. v.26, p.225 (2005).
 
  • #10
If the "speculation" is not based on peer-reviewed papers

yes, that's pretty much what I wrote.

then it doesn't belong here and one is making one own's personal theory.

Why is that you equate speculation with making a theory? Speculation can be used to show that you don't understand this and that and then the ones who know the subject better can clarify. Not? As long as you don't try to assert anything. I mean, most good teams work like that. Bouncing ideas until the right ones emerge.

Our policy on speculative, personal theory has been clearly outlined in the PF Guidelines that everyone has agreed to upon joining.

Yes, and I understand them. I just think you may be overeacting a bit here. I understand
we need rules on these forums, but why must things be so square? Instead of complaining about the formulation of the question, one can just post the paper(s) describing what mass is and move along.

But thx for posting the link ^^ I will go read it now.

/Frederic
 
  • #11
ZapperZ
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yes, that's pretty much what I wrote.



Why is that you equate speculation with making a theory? Speculation can be used to show that you don't understand this and that and then the ones who know the subject better can clarify. Not? As long as you don't try to assert anything. I mean, most good teams work like that. Bouncing ideas until the right ones emerge.

And that is why we have the IR forum!

Yes, and I understand them. I just think you may be overeacting a bit here. I understand
we need rules on these forums, but why must things be so square? Instead of complaining about the formulation of the question, one can just post the paper(s) describing what mass is and move along.

Or maybe you are still new here and haven't seen the garbage and the madness from a few years ago before we strengthen our policy? Despite what you may think, these rules and how we apply them just didn't appear on a whim and fancy. We try to keep a higher signal-to-noise in this forum, and from what we have gathered, it is working.

Zz.
 
  • #12
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Unfortunately I can't seem to get that paper that you mention off the web Zapper :frown:

I tend to agree that personal theories need to be kept from this site as things go crazy otherwise.
I like that we can at least ask questions about science as it stands.
The moderators do allow us to try and learn.
I wish that more of my questions were answerable...
That's probably my chief frustration but it probably can't be helped.

I would quite happily try to listen to your theories privately DDarcade if there is such a facility here (Is there Zapper?) but that is up to you.
I have my own ideas and you seem to have yours. I don't think mass from electrons is converted to light as I get the impression you are suggesting (don't discuss that here) but maybe we could help knock each other's theories apart away from this respected channel.
I'm sorry also to say it but this really isn't the place for speculation as tempting as it is.

Rereading your post it is probably not what you were suggesting but again I'm sorry this is not the place to discuss it.
 
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  • #13
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The LHC is trying to find out as we speak. From what I understand, mass is supposedly the interaction that occurs between the Higgs particle and the other elementary particles.
 
  • #14
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The LHC is trying to find out as we speak. From what I understand, mass is supposedly the interaction that occurs between the Higgs particle and the other elementary particles.

Actually, the immediate search at the LHC is more restrictive than that. The "Higgs" that everyone is looking for is the particle that breaks the weak symmetry that would signify how the W and Z get their masses. This does not give the origin of the masses of all elementary particles.

Zz.
 
  • #15
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Probably the most interesting questions of all, these days. I tend to agree with gonegahgah's belief, that it's all light( photons ) interacting in complex ways we haven't considered or been able to discover yet; it would explain so much, including why we cannot actually travel faster than light.

But is it even likely that we'll *ever* get to the truth of it? Aren't we approaching a stage of scientific advancement where it becomes exceedingly difficult to find out new stuff because of the tiny scale it's on?
 
  • #16
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I saw about a year ago I think that some scientist or group are supposed to have built up the picture of an atom by throwing something at them over and over again. Kind of like throwing a ball into a black box from all directions and determining the shape inside by seeing what the balls do.

I believe they built up a picture of: a nucleus, with the electrons in particular shapes, and with a third something present as well. Someone might cite that research for me if they can and correct anything I have said wrong.

I think the third type of objects were attributed to be gluons or something. I would like to instead think that the third objects were areas of temporarily trapped ordinary photons temporarily attracting electrons into higher 'orbits' while being repelled by the nucleus - hence their temporary presence before being expelled allowing electrons to drop back to lower 'orbits' - but it may be that if there were any trapped ordinary photons that they would be too difficult to identify. It is just how I would like to 'interpret' it but it could be a very poor interpretation and certainly wasn't their interpretation.

However it did seem to suggest the presence of something other than just the nucleus and electrons. Is this result of theirs still valid or has it been debunked since?
 
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  • #17
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Actually, the question was "What is matter?", as resolved by the OP. "Stuff" is what I usually call it, but that doesn't seem to help.

Anyone read a peer reviewed journal lately that talks about what stuff is? :devil:
 
  • #18
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Matter is massive energy.
 
  • #20
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Actually, the question was "What is matter?", as resolved by the OP. "Stuff" is what I usually call it, but that doesn't seem to help.

Anyone read a peer reviewed journal lately that talks about what stuff is? :devil:

Check out what I posted in Msg. #9.

Zz.
 
  • #21
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Check out what I posted in Msg. #9.

Zz.

The European Journal of Physics wants 30 pounds of sterling silver, and they will allow me to read all about mass.
 
  • #22
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The European Journal of Physics wants 30 pounds of sterling silver, and they will allow me to read all about mass.

You DID asked for a "peer-reviewed journal". I didn't realize you wanted one that is available for free as well.

Zz.
 
  • #23
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Perhaps not all formally peer reviewed, but well good essays from a nobel price winner. Frank Wilczek has several essays on his website - easy to read, and free - about matter, with a focus on the origin of mass (http://www.frankwilczek.com). He does IMO both what is matter and what is mass. He makes the reflection that 95% of all typical mass, can be traced to confined energy of massless particle, such as gluon. The proton an neutron mass are largely confined gluons, and the quark rest masses are a small portion only. It certainly leaves questions be he is worth reading.

One essay is "the origin of mass" http://web.mit.edu/physics/facultyandstaff/faculty_documents/wilczek_p@m03_FINAL.pdf

He also recently wrote a book that is partly discussed https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=261379.
The book is https://www.amazon.com/dp/0465003214/?tag=pfamazon01-20

Here is also another thread, related to Wilczek's ideas: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=254612

/Fredrik
 
  • #24
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matter is commonly defined as being anything that has mass and that takes up space.

Is there anything that satisfies only one of the above condition? - like, has mass and do not occupy space - or - has no mass and occupies space.
 
  • #25
atyy
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Is there anything that satisfies only one of the above condition? - like, has mass and do not occupy space - or - has no mass and occupies space.

"In an attempt to explain the meaning of “empty space” to a young child, I said “space is something not made of atoms.” He replied “Then you were wrong to tell me last time that only light is not made of atoms.” Indeed, light and gravity are two singular forms of “matter” which are very different from other forms of matter such as atoms, electrons, etc . (Here I assume space = gravity.) The existences of light and gravity – two massless gauge bosons – are two big mysteries in nature." Xiao-Gang Wen, Origin of Light, Phys.Rev.Lett. 88 (2002) 011602, http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0109120
 

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