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Thread: Un-particle physicist: Leaves on the tree

  1. #1
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    Question Un-particle physicist: Leaves on the tree

    I'll try to explain what I didn't understand.

    Last night was watching "Through the Wormhole" on Sci Channel.

    CERN and Higgs Boson were being discussed.

    A man is introduced who is an "un-particle physicist."

    An analogy was given of how leaves could appear on a tree due to un-particles (I guess)...but it apparently went over my head. I was also vaguely distracted at the time.

    Could someone explain that tree/leaves analogy to me? How it relates to ideas of un-particles?

    Sorry if this is confusing. I am confused.
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unparticle_physics

    Without knowing what they actually said on the show you watched, I don't know what this idea has to do with growing leaves.

    Do you know what episode it was?
    Last edited by Noclevername; 2013-Mar-29 at 12:41 AM.
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    No, sorry; I don't know the episode title.

    The gist of it seemed to be that leaves would be apparent on a tree without something (regular particles?), because of un-particles.

    But I'm not sure I'm relating that correctly.

    A tree was shown; normal with trunk, branches, leaves.

    Then the concept of un-particles was re-introduced while the branches and trunk were made to disappear; and despite their disappearance, the leaves are still seen.

    That's when I got lost.

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    Maybe they were trying to make a analogy that was too complex? Personally, I recall an anology about watching traffic as opposed to watching cars. As you watch traffic, the spaces between cars is important, while specifically watching cars is a different experience. Funny, I remember the anology but not the topic.
    Solfe

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    My guess would be that they were saying that normal particles are like the leaves on the tree. Unparticles are like branches and trunks (which are scale invariant versions of each other in this analogy). So you look at the top of a tree and just see leaves, eventually if you look down far enough you might see a trunk. But what you cannot see without doing something clever (like wait until winter or set fire to the leaves) is see the branches which are why the leaves hang the way they do and where they do.

    Essentially in the version of unparticle physics I have a slight familiarity with the unparticles represent a scale invariant framework for physics in which certain non-invariant solutions to the fields correspond to particle families. So despite being the stuff we see particles represent a very small subset of 'stuff that could be out there'. The hope would be that the rest of the 'stuff that is out there' tells us why particles we see have the properties we observe. So far there is no evidence for this though.

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    Okay, thanks Shaula! Saw your note too, Solfe.
    Last edited by Buttercup; 2013-Mar-29 at 05:59 PM.

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    I just watched this on the DVR. He was talking about fractals. Also, the un-particles are non-particles because their properties show up as fractions instead of as integers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Pacis View Post
    I just watched this on the DVR. He was talking about fractals. Also, the un-particles are non-particles because their properties show up as fractions instead of as integers.
    Unparticles are not particles because their associated fields are scale invariant. Particles, thanks to the extra complications of their masses being fixed and thus not scalable, do not share this property. With unparticles even their mass is scalable. One of the ways this can manifest or show up is as apparent fractional numbers of particles being present in a system. Quarks have a charge of -1/2 or 2/3 electron charges for example but they are most certainly particles.

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