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Author Topic: Is the existence of mass a fraud?  (Read 2895 times)

Offline John Chapman

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Is the existence of mass a fraud?
« on: 01/08/2009 09:33:40 »
When I was at school I was told that atoms comprise mainly empty space. I canít remember the figures (and Iíve since wasted some time trying to find them on the internet) but the analogy I was given went something like:

ĒIf you magnified atoms of iron until a nucleus was the size of a marble, the next nearest nucleus would be over 100 feet away.Ē

But, more than that, we now know that neutrons and protons (I have never really understood what electrons are) are themselves made of elementary particles such as quarks which are separated by relatively large amounts of space.

No-one knows what quarks are made of but it may be that they are also particular.

Could it be that matter is simply made from layers are particles which display energetic properties, have no substance and donít comprise anything more than sub-layers of the same? Could matter simply be a layered lattice of energy? Could this be why matter and energy are interchangeable and why matter can be compressed to a singularity?

Can I have my Nobel Prize now, please?
 
« Last Edit: 02/08/2009 08:46:57 by John Chapman »


 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Re: Is the existence of mass a fraud?
« Reply #1 on: 01/08/2009 09:39:22 »
The electrons orbit the nucleus at such a great distance that 99.99% of the atom is empty space.

http://www.green-planet-solar-energy.com/what-is-an-atom.html
 

Offline John Chapman

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Re: Is the existence of mass a fraud?
« Reply #2 on: 01/08/2009 09:45:25 »
Aha! Exactly. And if it turns out that protons and nutrons are full of empty space then maybe space and energy is all there is!?  :)
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Re: Is the existence of mass a fraud?
« Reply #3 on: 01/08/2009 09:51:20 »
All there is to what?

Can you explain this bit again? :D

"Could it be that matter is simply made from layers are particles which display energetic properties, have no substance and donít comprise anything more than sub-layers of the same? Could matter simply be a layered lattice of energy? Could this be why matter and energy are interchangeable and why matter can be compressed to a singularity?"
 

lyner

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Re: Is the existence of mass a fraud?
« Reply #4 on: 01/08/2009 15:38:11 »
You would find it easier if you avoided "what it really is" type questions.
Mass is a great concept for explaining and calculating things. If you can assign a Mass to something, it allows you to predict, to some extent, how it will behave.
Mass is not so much a "fraud" as a construct.
If an atom is behaving as if it has an effective radius of r and a Mass of m, then, until you want to look inside it, you can treat it that way.
Once you involve higher energies, you see, first, the electric structure of the atom and then, as your probing energy increases, the nuclear structure and furces. There need be no surprise that finer structure can be revealed by even higher energies. If your singularity and the fields / energy around it manage, between them, respond to applied forces as if there's Mass there then we can call it a Mass.

If it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, we can call it a duck. 
 

Offline John Chapman

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Is the existence of mass a fraud?
« Reply #5 on: 02/08/2009 09:25:39 »
Hi SophieC

That answer doesnít seem to embody this siteís usual spirit of adventure. You seem to be saying Ďif it works, donít question ití. We might discover we donít really exist and fizzle out of existence.

I remember when I was about 11 trying to figure out how we manage to walk. After a while I became so self conscious about where I should put my legs that when I tried to walk again it was like I was pissed. My Mum didnít believe Iíd forgotten how to walk by thinking about it too much! I was a bit of a strange kid.

Anyway, back to the existence of matter. I was sort of hoping that I could have the flash of brilliance and then pass the idea onto the physisissycists like you to work out the details. Iíll happily mention you in my Nobel acceptance speech.
 
 

lyner

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Is the existence of mass a fraud?
« Reply #6 on: 02/08/2009 14:17:31 »
I am not saying "don't question it". I am just saying that the word 'fraud' is not appropriate. Mass 'works' because it explains what goes on. It is not a trick - it's just like all Science. It is pragmatic use of a term which aplied all over the place.
If what you are asking for is an explanation of what it is that causes us to see things behaving as masses, then that is a different matter.
The "spirit of adventure"  you talk of is alive and well. ~It's just that the adventures tend to be rather more subtle than
"SHOCK HORROR - MASS NO LONGER EXISTS!!!!"
It is very likely that someone will come up with a good explanation which holds water and which unifies many of our present ideas but you can bet your bottom dollar that anyone bright enough to do it won't be in the business of rubbishing a useful concept.
If you drop a hammer on your toe, you will soon enough acknowledge the existence of Mass. ;D
 

Offline Nizzle

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Is the existence of mass a fraud?
« Reply #7 on: 14/08/2009 13:12:10 »
In my opinion, everything is energy with a certain frequency and amplitude.

Mass is a grouping for all forms of energy that interact with the Higgs field.

Examples:
an electron is a form of energy that reacts with the Higgs field.
a photon is a form of energy that does not react with the Higgs field.
 

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Is the existence of mass a fraud?
« Reply #7 on: 14/08/2009 13:12:10 »

 

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