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Science

Quarks Know Their Left From Their Right 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the spinning-away dept.
sciencehabit writes "How an electron interacts with other matter depends on which way it's spinning as it zips along—to the right like a football thrown by a right-handed quarterback or the left like a pigskin thrown by a lefty. Now, physicists have confirmed that quarks—the particles that join in trios to form the protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei—exhibit the same asymmetry. The result could give physics a new weapon in the grand hunt for new particles and forces. Or they can search for subtle hints of exotic new things beyond their tried-and-true standard model by studying familiar particles in great detail. In the latter approach, the new experiment gives physicists a way to probe for certain kinds of new forces."
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Quarks Know Their Left From Their Right

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  • I am actually quite upset by the recent developments. The "Audience" article clearly showed that the current Slashdot management has nothing to offer but meaningless marketing speak. I, for once will join the Slashcott next week.

    Fuck Beta

  • The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.

    But your Beta abomination is the cause of most of the comments now. >:(

  • Title says it all. Is this recent?

    I kinda feel I've been told to shut up. :(

    • Let me guess your occupation - Apple Genius?
    • by PGC (880972)
      You are only allowed to voice your opinion in the appropriate channels so it can conveniently be redirected to /dev/null. Also: Fuck Beta.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, this is not recent. I've been on this site nearly a decade, but never registered an account.
      I've never seen a sig.

  • Nothing new here? (Score:5, Informative)

    by PiMuNu (865592) on Friday February 07, 2014 @04:56AM (#46183887)
    Back to the article... Parity violation has been known in quarks for many many years - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K... [wikipedia.org] (hint: CP violation means charge-parity violation, which is a special case of Parity violation)
    • Yes I was wondering about that.

    • by Khashishi (775369)

      If you had RTFnatureA, you would have seen that the new measurement can be combined with old measurements to more tightly constrain the measurements of certain coupling constants, and it is consistent with the standard model. This is science, improving upon old measurements and verifying if the theory is still valid.

  • hmm I'd rather have olives and feta, the one true taste combo.
  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Friday February 07, 2014 @05:31AM (#46184041) Homepage

    to the right like a football thrown by a right-handed quarterback or the left like a pigskin thrown by a lefty.

    Oh, thanks, I was having such trouble working out what you meant by "left" and "right." And thanks for confusing some of your non-American readers with your references to footballs that you throw (what's that about?), and then referring to them almost immediately afterwards as "pigskins" instead.

    Of course it's a terrible analogy anyway, since particle spin is only loosely analogous to every-day spin.

    If it was that kind of spin, wouldn't "clockwise" and "anti-clockwise" be better words for it anyway? "Left" and "right" need a decision on which point you're looking at as well as direction.

    Does it all come from electrons spiralling left or right in the old particle accelerators?

    • by PGC (880972)
      I also have no idea how football will rotate when it is thrown by an right-handed quarterback .... footballs are meant to be kicked, hence the name. I have no idea how the addition of a quarterback will make me understand "rotates to the right" better. Clockwise and counterclockwise are just like right and left, relative to your point of view. Perhaps orientation quaternions would have been better. Ps: Fuck Beta
      • I also have no idea how football will rotate when it is thrown by an right-handed quarterback .... footballs are meant to be kicked, hence the name.

        Football does not refer to which part of the body is supposed to connect with the ball (otherwise it'd be called HeadKneeChestHandFootBall), but rather the fact that the game is played on-foot (as opposed to Polo, another old and popular game).

        • By your reasoning, then volleyball, baseball, basketball, bowling, and many others should also be called football, because they are all played on foot.

          Since we're apparently making stuff up, I say the reason we call it football is:

          1.) Most Americans(USA) can't pronounce those foreign words like 'Rugby'
          2.) Most Americans(USA) couldn't(and don't) understand Rugby anyway.
          3.) We couldn't understand or say Rugby, but we liked the ball....didn't have to chase it as far as a round one!

          And finally:

          'PGC (880972)' wa

          • Okay, so it turns out there is no definitive answer on the source of the term "Football". Some people think it's from the fact that you kick the ball with your foot, but others think it's from the fact that you play the game on-foot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]

            Your post is wrong either way, since Football can in fact refer to Rugby, making our usage of the term totally appropriate.

    • Actually what the states refer to is something called helicity, not spin. However the two are closely related: helicity is the component of the spin in the particle's direction of motion. Since this is quantized electrons and quarks have only two possible states: either the spin is in the same direction as the direction of motion (right-handed) or it is opposite (left-handed).

      The names come from the curl of your fingers in your left and right hands. If you pretend that the electron is a physically spinni
      • either the spin is in the same direction as the direction of motion

        But if it's how you suggest with the curled fingers and the thumb, isn't it always at 90 degrees to the direction of motion? Or was the way you said it (same/opposite direction as motion) just the convention of these things?

        Anyway, thanks. And I don't care what anyone says, I liked you in those campy 70s Bond movies.

  • parity violations (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Iamthecheese (1264298) on Friday February 07, 2014 @08:01AM (#46184647)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaon#CP_violation_in_neutral_meson_oscillations [wikipedia.org]

    Wikipedia has this to say: Since neutral kaons carry strangeness, they cannot be their own antiparticles. Which, to me, may as well me an incantation to be mumbled over three skulls and a chicken. What real-world thing can be made with this knowledge?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Suns, planets, moons, comets, black holes, people, cats, dogs, monkeys, houses, spaceships, computers, cheese, explosions, viruses, trombones, lights, rocks, movies, paper, iPhones, wind, paintings, thoughts, ...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Wikipedia has this to say: Since neutral kaons carry strangeness, they cannot be their own antiparticles. Which, to me, may as well me an incantation to be mumbled over three skulls and a chicken. What real-world thing can be made with this knowledge?

      Ugh ugh, Wikipedia say "Lightning is massive electrostatic discharge." Me not know what electro-whatever mean. What you make with electro-whatever? You can make big club? You can make sharp spear? Electro-whatever is dumb. Me know lightning throw by big god. Big god hate you dumb science. Me hit you with club now.

  • It took a day or two, but now when I google "fuck beta" all the top results are from slashdot. Yay.
    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Friday February 07, 2014 @09:10AM (#46184959)

      It took a day or two, but now when I google "fuck beta" all the top results are from slashdot. Yay.

      Yeah, we should be proud of that. Now slashdot has already been added to most filters, reducing access to millions of people, because of the potty mouth nerds who couldn't find a better way to articulate their frustration.

      • It took a day or two, but now when I google "f%ck beta" all the top results are from slashdot. Yay.

        Yeah, we should be proud of that. Now slashdot has already been added to most filters, reducing access to millions of people, because of the potty mouth nerds who couldn't find a better way to articulate their frustration.

        You increased the potty mouthed hit count right there. If you just used the "bleep" characters %^&*@# -- well, I guess you guys can't win for losing. The SlashDot has a lot of people who don't like change. Go figure.

    • It took a day or two, but now when I google "fuck beta" all the top results are from slashdot. Yay.

      I wouldn't be surprised if that works the other way around, too.

  • Give me Classic (permanently) or give me death!

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

    If the spin of the particle (electron in the summary) is germaine to the observed properties of the particle does that mean there are two different particles involved. For instance if a left spinning quark or electron interacts this way and a right spinning quark or electron interacts that way, are there two different types of quarks or electrons involved.

    Until now, there have been neutrons, protons and electrons. However, does this really mean there are six atomic particles instead of three?

    • by jfengel (409917)

      It was tricky trying to figure out actual science from the crap in the article, but here's what I was able to figure out:

      Neutrons and protons aren't fundamental particles. They're made up of more fundamental particles, quarks. There are six kinds of quarks, though only two of them (up and down) go into making up protons and neutrons. There are also three "kinds" of electrons (electron, muon, tau) and three kinds of neutrinos. Those, plus the bosons (photon, gluon, W and Z, Higgs) are all the fundamental par

    • by Xerxes314 (585536)

      If the spin of the particle (electron in the summary) is germaine to the observed properties of the particle does that mean there are two different particles involved?

      Yes! And there always has been. Left-handed particles are not the same as right-handed ones. Quarks in particular come in a dizzying amount of varieties. There are 6 flavors times 3 colors times 2 spins times 2 for regular/anti. So in total there are actually 72 kinds of quark!

      But people find it easier to talk about there being fewer kinds and specifying the exact types only as necessary. That makes sense, because particles of one type can change into particles of another type pretty easily. For example, yo

  • Like a football thrown...

    Don't you get it? Even now don't you get it?

    • Unfortunately, an embarrassingly small percentage of us do, but we are a small minority here.

      I heard that it used to be different before 'politician' was job, then a career.

      Well, it just goes to show you...

      If you give footballs to Americans, they'll try to sharpen the ends, and attack each other, then comes slashdot beta!

  • I can't read it, because when Beta smears all over my screen I have to close my eyes :(

  • Besides leaving out that the uncertainty in the reported measurements is still very large, this article is about as poorly written as possible.

    But what about the quarks? Like electrons, they can spin one way or the other as they zip around inside protons and neutrons.

    Electrons do not "spin" like footballs and quarks do not go zippity doo da.

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen

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