Author Topic: Physics Question(s)  (Read 408 times)

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Offline Zangoose

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Physics Question(s)
« on: December 07, 2015, 11:05:29 pm »
Heya, I've been recently reading Stephen Hawking's The Universe In a Nutshell ((Great book for nerds, btw)) and I've been finding myself lost on a few points. And given I don't even TAKE physics this year, to the internet it is!

What is antimatter/antiparticles? I know it is the opposite of matter or particles, given the name, and the imbalance between the two is what caused the big bang, according to Hawking's book, but what is it? Is it a physical form is it just a balancing energy for matter?

And one more thing, what is imaginary time? I know it's basically perpendicular to our real time, but what is it? IIRC, he described it as being where events occured that affected the real world, and the shape of imaginary time affects the shape of real time, but I'm just not grasping the whole concept

Any help is appreciated, thanks! ^w^
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Offline Ember the Dragon

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Re: Physics Question(s)
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2015, 07:33:58 pm »
Honestly I dont know, but my brother talks about anti-matter all the time, he might know.
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Offline Lambda Lumis

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Re: Physics Question(s)
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 05:19:10 pm »
Ok this is actually a fairly simple question to answer.

All the "Stuff" in the universe falls into 1 of 2 categories, matter or antimatter. (This is not taking into consideration dark matter, exotic matter, etc). All the atoms and particles you see (our planet, us humans, all the stars and galaxies in the night sky) is all made from matter. Some simple examples of matter subatomic particles include protons, electrons and up quarks. These particles all have properties such as charge, mass, spin etc. For example the charge of a proton is +1 where as the charge of an electron is -1 (in relative terms). Antimatter is simple, it is exactly the same as normal matter except with an opposite charge. So, an antimatter proton or more simply an antiproton would have the exact same mass, spin, etc as a normal matter proton EXCEPT it would have a negative charge of -1. Its the same with all the other particles, an antimatter electron or more simply antielectron or how it should be called a positron has the same mass and spin as an electron but with an opposite charge of +1.

When matter and antimatter collide they annihilate which is to say that they effectively cancel each other out. This is because there charges are equal and opposite so when they collide the charges together equal 0. When they annihilate all of their rest mass is converted into pure energy in a violent explosion.

Its as simple as that and it applies for every type of particle, there are anti particles for every known subatomic particle in the standard model (basically the periodic table of physics particles). However you may notice that there are some particles that have zero charge, do they have antiparticles? Yes, they are there own antiparticle. Its a hard concept to understand but it is possible for say a muon neutrino that has no charge to collide with another muon neutrino and for them to cancel out as one is matter and the other is antimatter. But it is equally as possible for 2 muon neutrinos to collide and nothing happen as they are either both matter or both antimatter. In short its impossible for us to determine if an uncharged particle is matter or antimatter unless we collide it with another one to see if it annihilates. However, we still wont be able to say which particle is matter and which one is anti matter, all we can say is that one of them is matter and the other is antimatter (relativity for you).

Now onto your next point. Its not the imbalance of matter and anti matter that caused the big bang, its the other way around. The big bang created all the matter and antimatter in the universe but there is a problem with this. When energy (the energy from the big bang) is converted into matter it is called pair production. During pair production EQUAL amounts of matter and antimatter are ALWAYS created. So if the big bang created equal amounts of matter and antimatter, why didn't every matter particle annihilate every antimatter particle and leave us with an empty universe?

This is the big problem, we just don't know. All we know is that SOMETHING caused an imbalance leading to one extra particle of matter for every billion particles of antimatter. Most of the matter and antimatter annihilated at the start of the big bang leaving the tiny amount of imbalanced matter left. That tiny bit of matter left over from this great annihilation event is everything we see in the observable universe. Scientists do have theories about how this imbalance occured. One of them is to do with something called Charge Parity violation and states that neutral kaons oscillate between matter and anti matter but decay into matter products more often then antimatter products creating an imbalance but this is beyond the scope of your question. In short we don't know why this imbalance is here but without it, nothing in the universe would exist.

Onto your last question about imaginary time. Iv never actually heard of it before but it sounds a lot like imaginary numbers. Think of a number line, positive numbers to the right of the zero in the center and negative numbers to the left. This number line encompasses every possible number. But what if a number existed outside of the line? This would be an imaginary number and can be though of as another number line perpendicular to the original number line. This sounds if it applies to imaginary time and may be similar to imaginary mass. I will probably do some more research on this for you though cause you have got me interested now  :lol-fox:

Hope this helps!  :fox-;):
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 12:05:57 pm by Lambda Lumis »
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Offline Zangoose

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Re: Physics Question(s)
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2015, 05:33:40 pm »
Ok this is actually a fairly simple question to answer.

All the "Stuff" in the universe falls into 1 of 2 categories, matter or antimatter. (This is not taking into consideration dark matter, exotic matter, etc). All the atoms and particles you see (our planet, us humans, all the stars and galaxies in the night sky) is all made from matter. Some simple examples of matter subatomic particles include protons, electrons and up quarks. These particles all have properties such as charge, mass, spin etc. For example the charge of a proton is +1 where as the charge of an electron is -1 (in relative terms). Antimatter is simple, it is exactly the same as normal matter except with an opposite charge. So, an antimatter proton or more simply an antiproton would have the exact same mass, spin, etc as a normal matter proton EXCEPT it would have a negative charge of -1. Its the same with all the other particles, an antimatter electron or more simply antielectron or how it should be called a positron has the same mass and spin as an electron but with an opposite charge of +1.

When matter and antimatter collide they annihilate which is to say that they effectively cancel each other out. This is because there charges are equal and opposite so when they collide the charges together equal 0. When they annihilate all of their rest mass is converted into pure energy in a violent explosion.

Its as simple as that and it applies for every type of particle, there are anti particles for every known subatomic particle in the standard model (basically the periodic table of physics particles). However you may notice that there are some particles that have zero charge, do they have antiparticles? Yes, they are there own antiparticle. Its a hard concept to understand but it is possible for say a muon neutrino that has no charge to collide with another muon neutrino and for them to cancel out as one is matter and the other is antimatter. But it is equally as possible for 2 muon neutrinos to collide and nothing happen as they are either both matter or both antimatter. In short its impossible for us to determine if an uncharged particle is matter or antimatter unless we collide it with another one to see if it annihilates. However, we still wont be able to say which particle is matter and which one is anti matter, all we can say is that one of them is matter and the other is antimatter (relativity for you).

Now onto your next point. Its not the imbalance of matter and anti matter that caused the big bang, its the other way around. The big bang created all the matter and antimatter in the universe but there is a problem with this. When energy (the energy from the big bang) is converted into matter it is called pair production. During pair production EQUAL amounts of matter and antimatter are ALWAYS created. So if the big bang created equal amounts of matter and antimatter, why didn't every matter particle annihilate every antimatter particle and leave us with an empty universe?

This is the big problem, we just don't know. All we know is that SOMETHING caused an imbalance leading to one extra particle of matter for every billion particles of antimatter. Most of the matter and antimatter annihilated at the start of the big bang leaving the tiny amount of imbalanced matter left. That tiny bit of matter left over from this great annihilation event is everything we see in the observable universe. Scientists do have theories about how this imbalance occur. One of them is to do with something called Charge Parity violation and states that neutral kaons oscillate between matter and anti matter but decay into matter products more often then antimatter products creating an imbalance but this is beyond the scope of you question. In short we don't know why this imbalance is here but without it, nothing in the universe would exist.

Onto your last question about imaginary time. Iv never actually heard of it before but it sounds a lot like imaginary numbers. Think of a number line, positive numbers to the right of the zero in the center and negative numbers to the left. This number line encompasses every possible number. But what if a number existed outside of the line? This would be an imaginary number and can be though of as another number line perpendicular to the original number line. This sounds if it applies to imaginary time and may be similar to imaginary mass. I will probably do some more research on this for you though cause you have got me interested now  :lol-fox:

Hope this helps!  :fox-;):

Thanks a bunch, I think I get it now, much appreciated ^~^
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