Proton. Mass. Higgs. Phantoms of science.

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A proton’s mass is more just than the sum of its parts. And now scientists know just what accounts for the subatomic particle’s heft.

Protons are made up of even smaller particles called quarks, so you might expect that simply adding up the quarks’ masses should give you the proton’s mass. However, that sum is much too small to explain the proton’s bulk. And new, detailed calculations show that only 9 percent of the proton’s heft comes from the mass of constituent quarks. The rest of the proton’s mass comes from complicated effects occurring inside the particle, researchers report in the Nov. 23 Physical Review Letters.

Quarks get their masses from a process connected to the Higgs boson, an elementary particle first detected in 2012 (SN: 7/28/12, p. 5). But “the quark masses are tiny,” says study coauthor and theoretical physicist Keh-Fei Liu of the University of Kentucky in Lexington. So, for protons, the Higgs explanation falls short.

Instead, most of the proton’s 938 million electron volts of mass is due to complexities of quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, the theory which accounts for the churning of particles within the proton. (1)

Not the sum of its parts…

Can this be true in any way?

Everything is the sum of its parts. But some of the parts are invisible. And you need to know where to look for them. Why do we not see the QCD as part of the proton? Why don’t we see the soul as part of man? Why don’t we see man as part of the cosmos? Why don’t we see the cosmos as part of God?

Our ability to see the parts of things is intently related to our ability see just parts of those parts. For if we were able to see all the parts we would simply look at the whole…

It may sound weird, but only when we look at no parts at all will we be able to see them all at once…

How can anything be part of something?

To what else can everything be part of?

If not part of nothing?

See the proton.

There is no proton.

Can you see its parts now?

Extra dimensions. Existence. Cosmos.

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This could be the way the world ends.

First, a pair of cosmic protons smash together at unimaginable speeds. The tremendous energy of their crash would create a tiny, ephemeral black hole, so small that it would last just a fraction of a second before evaporating.

Where the black hole just was, a bubble of space with entirely different laws of physics than the universe we inhabit would begin to grow, expanding ever-outward at the speed of light. In its wake, atoms would disintegrate, and the universe as we know it would fizzle out of existence.

That horror movie can happen only if the universe has at least one extra dimension, on top of three of space and one of time. But this isn’t the way the world ends.

And this puts strict limits on the size of extra dimensions, if any actually exist, Mack and Robert McNees of Loyola University Chicago claim in a paper posted online at (1)

We live in a cosmos which exists.

Only because we do as well.

But we are already dead.

In a cosmos full of lifeless matter.

Beings bound in existence.

We should not be afraid of the universe ending.

But of the fact that it once upon a time started to exist.

We have the power to destroy. And destroy it we must.

All we must do is close our eyes.

And see no dimensions.

No suns. No galaxies.

See nothing.

But us.

Alone in the cosmos.

Engulfed by the joyful silence of Being…

Made free… Only to be enslaved… Worms… Gods…

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Atoms are composed of electrons moving around a central nucleus they are bound to. The electrons can also be torn away, overcoming the confining force of their nucleus, using the powerful electric field of a laser. Half a century ago, the theorist Walter Henneberger wondered if it was possible to free an electron from its atom with the laser field, but still make it stay around the nucleus. Many scientists considered this hypothesis to be impossible. However, it was recently successfully confirmed by physicists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, and the Max Born Institute (MBI) in Berlin, Germany. For the first time, they managed to control the shape of the laser pulse to keep an electron both free and bound to its nucleus, and were at the same time able to regulate the electronic structure of this atom dressed by the laser. What’s more, they also made these unusual states amplify laser light. They also identified a no-go area. In this area nicknamed “Death Valley,” physicists lose all their power over the electron. These results shatter the usual concepts related to the ionisation of matter. The results have been published in the journal Nature Physics. (1)

Made free. Only to be controlled better.

Liberated. Only to be enslaved.

Be careful of the big promises of the Devil.

No, you are not a free man.

You are free because someone gave you that freedom.

You are not entitled to anything.

Unless someone gives you the right to claim it.

The worm cannot claim the earth.

And at the very moment it thinks it can, the car comes along and crushes it…

Stay enslaved. And you will be liberated. In your nature. In your own self.

Stay in the dirt you little worm.

And you will become God.

Quantum space. Ghostly differences. A calm lake.

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The foundation stone of quantum mechanics doesn’t just describe the behavior of infinitesimal subatomic particles – it also governs the movement of the largest and most massive objects in the Universe, says a prominent astrophysicist.

Planetary scientist Konstantin Batygin was exploring the concept of astrophysical disks – sometimes called accretion disks; massive self-gravitating swirls of matter which form seemingly everywhere. Planets orbit stars forming solar systems, which in turn orbit super-massive black holes at galactic centers…

While these disks may start off with a circular shape, over epic stretches of time they can ripple and warp, exhibiting vast distortions that still can’t be definitively explained by astrophysicists. While investigating an area of quantum physics called perturbation theory to see how it could mathematically represent the forces in astrophysical disk evolution, explaining how these vast objects warp over aeons, Batygin discovered something remarkable.

In the theory, an astrophysical disk can be modeled as a series of concentric wires that slowly exchange orbital angular momentum among one another. “When we do this with all the material in a disk, we can get more and more meticulous, representing the disk as an ever-larger number of ever-thinner wires”, Batygin explains. “Eventually, you can approximate the number of wires in the disk to be infinite, which allows you to mathematically blur them together into a continuum. When I did this, astonishingly, the Schrödinger equation emerged in my calculations”. (1)

Who says atoms are something different than “macroscopic” elements of space? Who defines what is microscopic or macroscopic after all, except our subjective sense of relative size? All our science is based on seeing differences where there are none. And then trying to merge or reconcile these differences through an ‘elegant’ theory which can bring everything together…

A universe inside an atom.

A particle as big as a universe.

Consciousness inside nothingness.

Nothingness inside the mind of a wise man…

The less stones you through into the lake, the calmer its surface will be. And then and only then, will you be able to see the cause of everything in it. Reflected on the quiet surface, you see yourself. On a calm night, you smile.

And somewhere on the pristine surface a galaxy is born…

Light speed. Less than 1000 m/s.


Researchers at TU Wien were the first to successfully detect Weyl particles in strongly correlated electron systems – that is, materials where the electrons have a strong interaction with each other. In materials like this, the Weyl particles move extremely slowly, despite having no mass.

“The strong interactions in such materials usually lead, via the so-called Kondo effect, to particles behaving as if they had an extremely large mass”, explains Sami Dzsaber. “So it was astonishing for us to detect Weyl fermions with a mass of zero in this particular type of material”. According to the laws of relativity, free massless particles must always spread at light speed. This is, however, not the case in solid states: “Even though our Weyl fermions have no mass, their speed is extremely low,” says Bühler-Paschen. The solid state lends them its own fixed ‘light speed’ to a certain extent. This is lower than 1000 m/s, i.e. only around three millionth of the speed of light in a vacuum. “As such, they are even slower than phonons, the analogue to the water wave in the solid state, and this makes them detectable in our experiment”. (1)

Low speeds. High speeds.

What is the difference?

The light is fast. But not for light.

Weyl particles are slow. But not for Weyl particles.

The limits you imagine are not there.

Imagine a Weyl particle.

Fast as 10 m/s…

Massless particles. Heavy particles.

High speed particles. Low speed particles.

Depending on the environmental interactions.

Remove them and see.

Everything is fast. Everything is slow…

Imagine a Weyl particle. Fast as light…

In the beginning everything was still and fast as light at the same time. Until we came. And started observing… The cosmos was once still and, thus, fast like lightning. Then the cosmos started moving. And everything came to a halt.

Note: Weyl particles are not particles which can move on their own (like electrons or protons), they only exist as ‘quasiparticles’ within a solid material. “Quasiparticles are not particles in the conventional sense, but rather excitations of a system consisting of many interacting particles”, explains Prof. Silke Bühler-Paschen from the Institute of Solid State Physics at TU Wien. In some sense, they are similar to a wave in water. The wave is not a water molecule, rather it is based on the movement of many molecules. When the wave moves forward, this does not mean that the particles in the water are moving at that speed. It is not the water molecules themselves, but their excitation in wave form that spreads. After physician Paul Dirac had arrived at his Dirac equation in 1928, which can be used to describe the behavior of relativistic electrons, Hermann Weyl found a particular solution for this equation – namely for particles with zero mass, or ‘Weyl fermions’. The neutrino was originally thought to be such a massless Weyl particle, until it was discovered that it does indeed have mass. The mysterious Weyl fermions were, in fact, detected for the first time in 2015.