The Meeting of Particle and Anti-Particle

Today I am beginning a long sequence of articles that will allow me to address some very basic and easily misunderstood concepts in physics: mass, energy, matter, force, and so on.  Along the way I will be dealing with some of the questions that readers have been asking me, such as whether mass and energy … Read more

Why Extra Dimensions Lead to Kaluza-Klein Particles — Part 2 (of 2)

The end of the story: if you’ve read through all the articles linked from Monday’s post — which explain why extra dimensions manifest themselves through heavier versions of known particles, called Kaluza-Klein (KK) partners — you can now read the punch-line in today’s article: why, instead of there being a KK partner for every possible mass, as Monday’s … Read more

Virtual Particles: Not Particles At All

Among the many tricky concepts which the layperson has to grapple with when learning about particle physics is something called “virtual particles”, which show up in cute pictures called “Feynman diagrams” along with “real particles”.  In most books for the public, some words are mumbled about the uncertainty principle and how virtual particles are particles … Read more

Brief Q&A on Basic Whys/Hows of Particle Physics

On the plane back to the US, I put together a couple of answers to very basic questions about particle physics that I often get from friends and acquaintances who know little or nothing about the subject.  I hope you find them interesting! Note also: my previous post repeated a misquote of the CERN director … Read more

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