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What motions do quarks make in a particle?

  1. Aug 17, 2010 #1
    I understand that they 'jitter'. Do they spin around one another or have some sort of 'orbit' in respect to each another? Is it chaotic?

    Do they actually touch one another?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2010 #2
    Like electrons in atoms, they dont have trajectories.
  4. Aug 18, 2010 #3
    The question for the "orbital angular momentum of quarks in a nucleon" is somewhat controversial as far as I am informed. Does anyone know something more on this issue?
  5. Aug 18, 2010 #4
    I know that because quarks in neutron have different rest masses, there is a non-trivial distribution of charge around the neutron (even it has no net charge).
  6. Aug 18, 2010 #5
    A good account more or less up-to-date is in :
    Understanding the proton's spin structure

    Although electrons do not orbit like planets, we can still plot electronic densities around nuclei and molecules. It is not a mere "visualization", those are almost directly the root of chemical properties. Only recently (during the last decade or so) we have been able to construct the analog for light relativistic quarks. We now can give a strict meaning to the concept of "force" acting on a quark (not just waving our hands). A more formal account of the theory behind and its subtleties is in
    Angular Momentum Decomposition for an Electron
  7. Aug 21, 2010 #6
    I may be shot down soon (I doesn't hurt THAT much), but I believe the gluons between the quarks move across between quark to quark, with color changes and other things going on, such that even though "on average" there are two up quarks and one down quark, or vice versa, the quarks are not actually really there in terms of being independent "objects", but rather more like a soup.
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