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Author Topic: Are subatomic particles really spherical?  (Read 2992 times)

Reg Pakari

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Are subatomic particles really spherical?
« on: 06/09/2008 15:44:20 »
Reg Pakari  asked the Naked Scientists:

Hi,

1. What is the reason for the spherical nature of subatomic particles, atomic particles, planets and stars?

2.Will all possible universes will be made up of spherical particles, planets and stars?
 
3. Why do electrons spin?

4. Is spin fundamental to our universe?
 
5. Can our universe exist without spin?

That's it...
Regards
Reg Pakari

What do you think?


 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Are subatomic particles really spherical?
« Reply #1 on: 07/09/2008 23:43:30 »
Whew!  that a very challenging set of questions!  simply worded questions may seem simple but beware we may not always agree precisely what words mean particularly a word like spin.

Question 1 planets and stars are spherical because that is the lowest energy shape that any body that is held together with an attractive force and does not have a great deal of angular momentum (ie is not rotating very fast.  you may say spinning fast) can adopt.  Rotating objects become oblate and finally disc shaped at the limit. Atoms and subatomic particles are not always spherical but finding out their shapes is quite difficult and I will not go into full details here.

Question 2 I don't think that there is a definitive answer to that question and I see no reason to see that it needs to be true.  My own personal opinion is that it is most likely that universes are essentially toroidal but it is a three dimensional membrane in a four dimensional space-time environment.  That is however not a currently generally accepted idea.

Question 3.  Essentially they just do "spin" is a property of electons that has been observed that has certain physical similarities with a spinning ball but whether it does reperesent such a process is dubious it may be something much deeper like a reflection of the fact that an electron deep down is in some way composite with two other quantum objects orbiting each other.

Question 4 If you mean by your question does the law of conservation of angular momentum play a fundamental part in defining the structure that we see in the universe the answer is yes but I am not sure that is what you meant.

question 5  the answer is essentially the same as question 4
« Last Edit: 07/09/2008 23:48:13 by Soul Surfer »
 

Offline syhprum

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Are subatomic particles really spherical?
« Reply #2 on: 08/09/2008 10:03:17 »
It is an interesting idea that Electons are composite but I feel they would need to consist of three sub particles so that they could exist in both positive and negative variety's
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Are subatomic particles really spherical?
« Reply #3 on: 08/09/2008 12:33:23 »
I dont see why that would be the case.  I am assuming that the composite particles of electrons are not held together by electromagnetic forces but by gravity  that why we see them as points because what is going on is way down to tiny to detect with anything we could do.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Are subatomic particles really spherical?
« Reply #4 on: 10/09/2008 19:57:54 »
It is an interesting idea that Electons are composite but I feel they would need to consist of three sub particles so that they could exist in both positive and negative variety's

What about up & down quarks? That is a case of 2 particles being able to produce different charges.
 

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Are subatomic particles really spherical?
« Reply #4 on: 10/09/2008 19:57:54 »

 

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