Unlocking the Secrets of The Standard Model Part 1: Quarks

After a long hiatus, I am back, and ready to entertain and inform my readers with a new series. This one pertains to the Quantum Physics, a subatomic hobby of mine. Each piece will be explaining a different piece of Quantum Physics, starting with the very first series: Unlock the Secrets of The Standard Model. I’m hoping that after I’m done, I’ll be able to compile all the information into a short book. So here is Part 1: Quarks.

In high school, we all learned about the “basic building blocks of matter.” We always assumed that things like protons, neutrons, and electrons were the end all be all of what composes matter. We learned about things like elements, covalent bonds, electron interactions, and even a little bit of quantum chemistry, but that was the end of it. We never stopped to research, or even consider the fact that there may be something beyond these 3 basic particles. Luckily for the entire scientific community, there is something beyond these 3 particles. The true basic building blocks of almost all of the matter in the universe. These infinitesimal particles are known as quarks.

 

Before we delve into the definition of a quark, we must first talk about the different classifications of something called “elementary particles.” An elementary particle is a subatomic particle that helps to comprise the most essential pieces of matter in the universe. To help us keep track of all these different particles, we have something called the “Standard Model of Particle Physics.” This standard model separates different forms of matter into the proper categories. The 4 categories that exist within the Standard Model are: Quarks, Leptons, Gauge Bosons, and Scalar Bosons. These 4 categories include all of the different types of KNOWN elementary particles. What has not yet been discovered is so heavily beyond our comprehension, that we simply cannot begin to guess at what it would look like. We like to leave these things to the visionaries, like Feynman or Einstein.

 

In this post, I will be covering the first piece of the puzzle that is the Standard Model, quarks. Before we can understand what a quark is, we have to understand what a baryon is. A baryon is a specific denomination of matter, which is comprised of protons and neutrons. Anything that contains a proton or a neutron is classified as baryonic, including protons and neutrons themselves. Simply put, anything we can touch is baryonic matter. There are other types of matter, but for the moment, we’ll just be talking about baryonic matter. It is a common misconception that protons and neutrons are the most basic particle building blocks. In fact, I’m willing to guess it’s one of the most common scientific inaccuracies. The true building block of all baryonic matter is the quark. Within all baryons is 3 quarks, which comprise that baryonic particle.

Now that we have established important vocabulary concepts, we can now move on to the nitty gritty. Quarks are a little intimidating to those who are unfamiliar, but I’ll try my best to explain them in a way that makes sense. Quarks are governed by 3 different forces. The first of which is known as “color.” Color has nothing to do with the actual color of the particle, but, rather, the force that the particle is experiencing. The 3 different levels of color force are Red, Green, and Blue. Each color corresponds to a specific level of force that each particle is experiencing. This allows multiple types of the same quark to exist within a particle. The second force is known as spin. Each quark has a spin of ½, which is determined by some extremely confusing math. If you have a solid grasp on calculus, you can check out some resources on h-bar and spin vectors, but otherwise, don’t bother.

 

The third and final property is its mass. This is where things get truly complicated. Before we talk about the mass of quarks, we must talk about another particle: a gluon. A gluon field surrounds every quark, helping it to stay in place, and allowing it to interact with other quarks without repelling each other. The gluons help the quarks hold different color charges, which allow them to overpower certain quantum elements, such as the Pauli Exclusion Principle, which states that no two particles can occupy the same quantum level. Since each quark is surrounded by a gluon field, we have to take into account two different kinds of mass. The first is known as the current quark mass, which is the mass of the quark itself. The second is called the constituent quark mass, which is the sum of both the quarks mass, and the mass of the gluon field that surrounds it. These 3 properties are the basic constituents of the most fundamental particles every discovered.

 

The final vocabulary term used when defining quarks is “flavor.” Flavor refers to the type of quark that is being observed. There are 6 known flavors of quarks, and they each come in pairs. The first pair is Up and Down, which are the types that form protons and neutrons. The second pair is Strange and Charm, which are used in heavier particles, such as hadrons. The final pair is the most massive. It includes the Bottom and Top quarks. These 3 pairs of quarks are known as generations.

 

The world of quantum physics is a beautiful place, and it will only become more so as we find out more about the universe that we live in. Until next time.

 

~Zane

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Philosophy Rant

Hey guys! I’ve been thinking a lot about philosophy lately, and I wanted to give some of you an idea of what I’ve been pondering.

 

One of my favorite philosophical concepts is that of the “Golden Mean.” This theory was developed by first by Aristotle, who stated an objection to the original idea of good and evil being opposites. In almost every aspect of our culture, it is made apparent that there is good, which is moral and correct, and evil, which is immoral and wrong. Even ancient literature states this, most notably the bible, stating that God and Satan are opposites, one standing for all thing moral, and the other all things immoral, respectively. This is a simple fact of culture, with the only deviation being that of a moral “gray area,” which does not necessarily lean one way or the other.

 

Aristotle decided that he objected to that idea, and instead came up with the Golden Mean. He stated that good and evil were not opposites, but rather a spectrum. If one were to imagine a sandwich (yum), one could picture evil as two pieces of bread on either side, and good being the Golden Mean in the middle. On one side, we have the idea of deficiency, one of the evils of the world. One the other side, we have excess, another one of the evils manifested in the world. Of course, in the center, we have a balance of the two, creating a Golden Mean, which combines both aspects.

 

A way to create an example of this spectrum is to pick a positive, balanced virtue, and scale it accordingly, first to deficiency, then to excess. For this example, we will choose an inherently good virtue: generosity. In a balanced form, generosity includes ideas that pertain to giving to the needy, sharing with others, etc. When one deficient of generosity, they become stingy, and unwilling to share with others. Yet in excess, generosity becomes extravagance, and wastefulness. This is true of any virtue that is moral and righteous. Since good and evil is a subjective ideal, it is impossible to determine a single theory to be true. Such is the nature of philosophy.

 

I hope this at least somewhat interested you guys. This post was really fun to write, so it was pretty easy for me to rant about it, especially with the subject being so interesting. Stay tuned for more philosophy stuff, and maybe I can even make it into a running series.

 

~Zane

Random Astrophysics Theory Idea

Today, I have an interesting post idea, one that will hopefully make up for my long silence. Today, I will be presenting a theory that I have been working one. I may only be 17 years old, and relatively ill-informed when it comes to astrophysics, but I want my readers to try to take me seriously for a moment, as I present a theory that I have come up with.

 

The formation of a neutron star, and even stellar black holes is common knowledge in the scientific world. Yet one thing is still unknown: how a supermassive black hole forms, and what it takes for a star to become one. When it comes to stellar black holes, the common theory is that the star runs out of fuel, and its own gravity causes it to collapse in on itself. But could it be possible that something entirely different happens in the formation of supermassive black hole? Something that was previously thought to be impossible?

 

My theory states that supermassive black holes form from the same thing that most stellar black holes form from: a massive star. As a star ages, it begins to use larger and larger elements as its fuel, until it eventually runs out, or can no longer burn what it needs to without outside energy, causing it to collapse on itself. I believe that the same thing happens in a supermassive black hole, except for one small change. Instead of trying to fuse something like iron, the core undergoes some kind of drastic change, causing it to begin trying to fuse a much more massive element.

 

Currently, 118 different elements have been discovered, the heaviest of which only being created in super-colliders and laboratories. Yet could it be possible for a star to undergo some kind of strange event, causing its core to begin to form some kind of unknown or exotic element, one which is too large and unstable to created on earth? If this were possible, the star would surely collapse in on itself, the sheer mass of the super large elements causing the star to give off insane amounts of gravitational pull. In turn, this would create an enormous black hole, one which would consume surrounding stellar nebulae, and other stars, resulting in a supermassive black hole.

 

I doubt that this theory is even possible, but it’s been on my mind for quite a while, and I wanted to put it down on paper. The fact that the core of a star would have to undergo such a massive change to convert itself from iron to some other exotic, massive element makes it extremely implausible, but still possible. I’ll try to do more research, but the math required sets quite a few limits on my ability to comprehend anything having to do with this subject. Stay tuned for more info.

 

~Zane

Autistic Point of View – Zane’s First Ebook

Hey everybody, long time no see! Lately, I’ve been working on something huge: my first eBook. I published it a few days ago, and wanted to let everyone here know about it! The eBook is called “Random Sunday Stories” and includes 3 short stories that I wrote. It falls under the genre of fantasy, and is posted through an agregator called “SmashWords.” I worked quite hard on this, and it contains a revised edition of 2 of the short stories I posted on here, and 1 brand new one!

If you are interested, here is a link to check out my eBook, and I’d really appreciate if you would check it out!

Here’s the link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/718774

For my viewers, here is a coupon code for getting the book for just $0.99! : EY37U is the code!

And, for the first person to get this coupon, the book is free! Here’s the code: GF52N

Hope you guys enjoy and thanks for the support!

~Zane

Autistic Point of View – Current Event Analysis

Our world is full of messed up people, with messed up intentions. I have seen some pretty awful crimes in my day, and I have seen messed up intentions. But what I just read about isn’t as much messed up as it is confusing. One man in the Dallas area decided for god-knows-why to set off all of the emergency sirens in Dallas at 11:40 PM. The crime wasn’t heinous, nor was it necessarily evil, it was just downright strange. For what reason would someone want to set off the emergency tornado sirens late at night? For a prank? All it did was cause some panic in some of the residents, and then got shut off quickly after. Here’s my analysis on the situation.

 

How did he do it?: To be able to hack a security system with such a high level of encryption would be virtually impossible. The only way to do something like that would be to A. Have the encryption codes for the system, or B. Have a way to decrypt the codes faster than they were being changed. Encryption codes at a federal level are extremely impressive. They go so far as to literally change their encryption type as fast as every 30 seconds. This would mean that the person hacking the system would have to literally decrypt the code to the alarm system, and send a signal with the same encryption codes within 30 seconds. This is no small feat, and it would take a very powerful computer to get it done. Most likely, the person used some kind of apparatus to obtain the encrypted messages going through the airways, which in and of itself is extremely hard, then break the codes in a matter of 30 seconds. That basically rules out the possibility of someone on the outside breaking the codes. That would mean that either A. The alarm sirens going off was a test, or B. Someone who already had the codes would have to send a message to the sirens to go off. Considering that all of the sirens do not run off of the same encryption codes, someone definitely had access to the codes prior to the hacking.

 

Why did he do it?: I think that our culprit did it to cause panic. Many people enjoy creating fear in others, especially if it eases the fear that they are experiencing. Most likely, the person who committed the crime did it to prove a point, maybe to show how easy it is to hack these systems, when, in reality, it isn’t easy at all. Whatever the intention, our culprit most likely did it for the reason of creating panic.

 

Who did it?: Police officers and federal agents alike have a common method for profiling a culprit. The first step is to list the possible intentions. Most likely, there are 3 different possibilities for the intention of the culprit. A. The culprit wanted to prove a point, B. The culprit wanted to demonstrate something, or C. The culprit wanted to send a message. The most likely possibility is that the culprit wanted to send a message. The sirens going off is almost saying “Hey, look how easy it is to do this! If I can do this, who’s to stop others from doing worse things?!” This narrows down the category to people that are not in good standing with the government, or people who dislike some of the systems of security that the government produces. This means that it would not be hard to find a few people who would want to commit a crime like that. Then, all it takes is pinging a message off of their computers, and finding who committed the crime in the first place.

 

This is my basic analysis of what exactly went down in Dallas, and why someone would do something like that. Overall, it was a bit of a weird thing to do, and now the culprit will be facing federal charges.

You guys can check out the story here.

~Zane

The Blessings of Anaros Part 4

Here it is guys, the final chapter. Enjoy the conclusion of “The Blessings of Anaros!”

 

The Blessings of Anaros Part 4

 

Anaros shouldered his pack, and began to head out of the village where he had spent the last 3 months. The villagers didn’t leave their homes, but Anaros began to speak to the villagers anyway. He crushed a Blessing of Speech, and began to address the villagers in their homes.

“Though I hate to leave this village, I feel that I am no longer needed, and my quest pulls me onward. I now leave you in the capable hands of the New Empire’s armies, who may now do as they please since I will be gone. But know this, I will come back, and when I do, the New Empire will be gone, and in its place shall be me, Anaros Atarix, descendant of Falthor Atarix! I now bid you goodbye, and may the gods be with you.” Anaros boomed. As the Blessing of Speech wore off, he turned and left the village. He was finally on the Road to complete his quest, and kill the Emperor.

 

Anaros arrived at the city of Felicise within hours of leaving the village, thanks to his Blessing of Speed. As he approached the massive gates of the city, the guards approached him.

“Papers?” Questioned one of the guards.

“I require no papers, let me through,” Anaros said. The guard warily put one hand on his sheathed sword, and asked Anaros again. Anaros reached into his pouch, and grabbed a Blessing of Strength. He crushed it in his hand, and took an offensive stance, charging the guard head on. Before the guard had the chance to draw his sword, Anaros delivered a bone-shattering punch to his nose, his hand plunging wrist deep into the guard’s face. The guard flew back nearly 100 feet, crashing into the iron gates of the city. Anaros noticed two other guards charging him, and ducked quickly out of the way of the first guards swinging sword. He charged the second guard, and jumped what looked like 15 feet into the air, landing on the guard’s chest, and crushing his ribs with the force of the blow. He used the excess force to catapult himself into the other guard, whipping his foot around and delivering a powerful kick to the guard’s stomach, forcing his body into the iron gate. With a creak, the iron gate opened, and Anaros entered the City.

 

The Emperor’s palace wasn’t hard to find, it stood towering above all of the other buildings in Felicise, its spires covered in sheets of gold, and its gates glittering in the harsh midday sunlight. With one powerful kick, Anaros smashed down the front gate, and fell to the ground with a massive crash. He strode into the castle swiftly, and the guards swarmed around him, encircling him and brandishing weapons. Anaros reached into his pouch, and pulled out a Blessing that none of the guards recognised. This was the source of Anaros’s uniqueness, his ability to create brand new types of Blessings. He crushed the Blessing, and sprinkled it around him in a circle, creating a ring around him. Just as he finished sprinkling the powder, the ground began to glow, and something began to come out of the ground.

“Whoever said I was a one man army?” Anaros said, his question clearly rhetorical.

The ground around him began to shake, and several men appeared in a circle around Anaros. They all held pouches similar to his, and began to attack the guards. In the blink of an eye, all of the guards were dead, and Anaros’s men assembled behind him, marching into the throne room.

 

Anaros burst into the throne room, quickly followed by the other Touched. Anaros was instantly in awe of the beautiful intricacies of the throne room. Its architectural schemes radiated beauty in countless different ways. The walls had been ingrained with deep sheets of gold, glittering diamonds poking out from them, and catching the eye of any who passed. Deep cuts were placed in each of the gold sheets, each of which depicted the Emperor’s glorious battles and triumphs.

“Who dares enter the throne room of Ikthor, Emperor of Narian?” The Emperor boomed, his voice echoing through the halls of the throne room.

“I am Anaros Atarix, descendant of Falthor Atarix.” Anaros replied, his voice steady.

“What is your purpose in disrupting me, foolish boy!” The Emperor yelled, his voice filled with rage.

“I am here to kill you.” Anaros said simply, charging toward the Emperor.

Anaros flew toward the Emperor, his feet carrying him with incredible speed, the likes of which very few people had ever witnessed. He reached into his pouch, and pulled out another new Blessing, this one in the shape of an amorphous blob. It was deep red, and contrasted with the other Blessing that he had, all of which were blindingly white. He jumped through the air, and landed on the Emperor’s throne platform.

“Let this battle begin.” The Emperor said, pulling out a pouch of his own.

Emperor Ikthor crushed three Blessings in his hand, and charged at Anaros with blinding speed. Before Anaros could dodge, Ikthor slammed his fist into his leg, and a sickening snap rang through the halls. Anaros screamed in pain and fell to the ground in a heap. Ikthor then slammed his fist into Anaros’s face, shattering his nose. Anaros slumped to the ground, his vision becoming blurry.

“Over that soon?” Ikthor asked, laughing heartily. “I thought you would put up more of a fight!”

“The point wasn’t to fight you, Emperor, it was to distract you.” Anaros said weakly, a smile on his face.

Ikthor looked around, and saw an assembly of Touched surrounding him, all holding a single red Blessing. They threw the Blessing onto the ground, and held out their hands toward Ikthor. Anaros raised his Blessing as high as he could, and brought it crashing down onto Ikthor’s stomach.

“See you in hell, Ikthor.” Anaros rasped.

Ikthor bellowed in fury as he was whipped into the air, and pulled into a massive spinning vortex that opened in his stomach. Ikthor collapsed into himself, and was sucked into the portal. Anaros was lifted into the air, and began to be pulled into the portal. He looked out on his brethren, and uttered his last words.

“Every hero must make sacrifices to do what he knows is right. Now go forth, and show the world what it means to be free.”

With this, Anaros was pulled into the portal, his bag of Blessings falling to the floor.

 

Wow, this took a while to write! Hope you guys enjoyed this short story, and let me know if you have any ideas for a short story you would like to see in the future. Until next time!

~Zane

The Blessings of Anaros Part 3

Whew, I’m really posting a lot today! As promised, here is Part 3 of “The Blessings of Anaros!” Hope you enjoy.

 

The Blessings of Anaros Part 3

 

Anaros stood over Falthor’s dead corpse, reveling in his success. He couldn’t help but be pleased with himself for what he had done. He had slain his greatest enemy! So why did he feel so strange? He felt so…distant, so unwhole. The people of the village were staring at him, their faces full of terror. Why couldn’t they understand what he did was right? By slaying Falthor, he had freed the people of this village, freeing them from the fear that had permeated their entire lives. Ever since Falthor left, all Anaros could think about was killing him, bringing him to justice. Yet the people of the village regarded him with…fear. Whispers followed him all the way home, the people of the village speaking out against him. Monster. Heretic. Murderer. They had seen him kill men before, but why did this one death, the death of their enemy, bother them so much?

Anaros arrived home, but the house was empty, none of his friends came to congratulate him. He simply couldn’t grasp why they hated him so much, and why him killing Falthor bothered them so much. All he had ever done was help them, all he had ever done was save them again and again. Yet now, all of the times he had killed someone, they hated him. Anaros stormed into his bedroom, and gathered his things. It was time to move on, it was time to leave this place behind, and continue his journey. He packed everything away, put on his overcoat, and tied his pouch to his belt. He descended the stairs, grabbing some necessary food items, and opened the front door. He was not expecting what happened next, nor was he expecting any of the villagers to even come near him. Standing before him was the entire village, armed with weapons, with looks of fear in their eyes.

“Anaros, in the name of the New Empire, you are under arrest for the murder of Falthor Atarix. Resist, and we will kill you.” Said the first man, standing at the head of the group.

Since when had they pledged their allegiance to the New Empire? Everything that was happening was so confusing…so wrong. He tried to step forward, but the soldier stopped him, shoving him to the ground. Anaros was never one for controlling himself, and was prone to violent emotional outbursts.

“Soldier, you know not what you have done. You have angered me, and for that, I plan to kill you. Yet I am a fair man, and I plan to give you a chance to fight me. If you accept, I will leave these villagers alone, but if you refuse, I will slaughter them all, right before your eyes. Then I will strike you down where you stand. Do you accept?” Anaros said, his voice wrought with anger.

“Yes Anaros, I do. I will end your life here and now, for challenging a soldier of the New Empire is a crime that is unforgivab-” The soldier began, only to be cut off by Anaros’s sword plunging through his throat, spraying blood in all directions.

“I grow tired of your rambling, soldier,” Anaros said, his voice steady.

“Heed my voice, soldiers of the New Empire, I grow displeased with your actions. No number of soldiers can strike me down, and no army can withstand my barrage. Anyone who objects may step forward now, or forever hold your peace.” Anaros said, annoyance rising in his voice.

One of the soldiers stepped forward to confront Anaros, but was met with hostility, as Anaros threw a small bronze dagger at him. Before the man had time to react, the dagger was upon him, burying itself hilt deep in his left eye. He fell to the floor writhing in pain, his screams formed from pure, unadulterated agony. Blood spilled down his face, his screams subsiding as he felt into the cold embrace of death.

“Anyone else?” Anaros said gleefully, a smile on his face. No one responded.

“Good, I will now take my leave,” Anaros said, entering the house and closing the door behind him.

 

That’s all folks, peace!

 

~Zane