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We understand how it works on different scales, but we don't know what it "is." Most modern physicists would claim that knowing what something "is" isn't possible--all we can do is describe how things behave within the limits of our theories.
m = (1/c2)Sqrt[E2 - (cp)2]where E = energy; p = momentum.
What he alludes to by saying "Most modern physicists would claim that knowing what something "is" isn't possible" is that you can only say what something is in terms of something else, which then begs the question "what is the something else that we've use to define the original something? That's why the question is fundamentally unanswerable in absolute terms.
ack. sounds like a justification for their own lack of understanding to me. Just because "they" don't know what something is, doesn't mean it can't be known.
some particles are "massless" correct. Photons are one. are there others?
also, are photons fundamental. that is, are they made up of smaller quarks and leptons.
and what's the difference between a quark and a lepton?
Modern physics assumes that the ultimate test of everything is what we can observe. If two explanations give identically observable results, there's no way to pick which one is "right." (There are a lot of different philosophical interpretations of what quantum mechanics means, for example.) If you have a theory that describes mass well enough for all the experiments you want to do, would you say that that theory tells you what mass is?
Quarks can interact via the strong force, while leptons can't. There's other differences, but that's the big one.
Maybe a better question is what causes mass?
Which practically means that quarks (plural) form neutrons and protons, and leptons don't. So an electronic is a lepton and is so because "inside" it is a single particle?The electromagnetic force is what brings the protons and neutrons together right?
Do scientists understand what mass is?
So why not take it at face value. If we choose the units to take out the constants all we have left is m = v. v is nothing more than a change in electromagnetic amplitude.
ok, but then what is electromagnetic amplitude? And I though Electromagnetism operated only at the level of electrons and atomic nuclei?
Matter is not ethereal like energy.
Quote from: Mr. ScientistMatter is not ethereal like energy.We can think of energy that way, but consider this: All of the movement of matter is the result of the exchange of energy.We like to think of energy as a property of a thing and not a thing itself. This might not be the most useful view of energy. All things might simply be the energy they contain. If you take away all the energy from any physical thing, you find that you no longer have a physical thing.
Quote from: LeeE on 02/10/2009 19:48:54What he alludes to by saying "Most modern physicists would claim that knowing what something "is" isn't possible" is that you can only say what something is in terms of something else, which then begs the question "what is the something else that we've use to define the original something? That's why the question is fundamentally unanswerable in absolute terms.That's only if you believe that you can't reduce everything to a single, fundamental something. So would it be fair to say that that is an assumption of modern physics? m