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On the intermediate scale

  1. How do phase transitions take place on the microscopic scale ? We know a lot about phase transitions, such as water freezing, but the details of how they occur molecule by molecule are not well understood. Similar questions about specific heat a century ago led to early quantum mechanics. It is also an example of a complex adaptive system that may yield insights into other self-organizing systems.
  2. Is there a way to deal with nonlinear phenomena that reveals underlying connections ? Nonlinear phenomena lack a direct or linear proportionality that makes analysis and understanding a little easier. There are implications for nonlinear optics and broader topics such as chaos.
  3. How do high- T c size 12{T rSub { size 8{c} } } {} superconductors become resistanceless at such high temperatures ? Understanding how they work may help make them more practical or may result in surprises as unexpected as the discovery of superconductivity itself.
  4. There are magnetic effects in materials we do not understand—how do they work ? Although beyond the scope of this text, there is a great deal to learn in condensed matter physics (the physics of solids and liquids). We may find surprises analogous to lasing, the quantum Hall effect, and the quantization of magnetic flux. Complexity may play a role here, too.

On the smallest scale

  1. Are quarks and leptons fundamental, or do they have a substructure ? The higher energy accelerators that are just completed or being constructed may supply some answers, but there will also be input from cosmology and other systematics.
  2. Why do leptons have integral charge while quarks have fractional charge ? If both are fundamental and analogous as thought, this question deserves an answer. It is obviously related to the previous question.
  3. Why are there three families of quarks and leptons ? First, does this imply some relationship? Second, why three and only three families?
  4. Are all forces truly equal (unified) under certain circumstances ? They don’t have to be equal just because we want them to be. The answer may have to be indirectly obtained because of the extreme energy at which we think they are unified.
  5. Are there other fundamental forces ? There was a flurry of activity with claims of a fifth and even a sixth force a few years ago. Interest has subsided, since those forces have not been detected consistently. Moreover, the proposed forces have strengths similar to gravity, making them extraordinarily difficult to detect in the presence of stronger forces. But the question remains; and if there are no other forces, we need to ask why only four and why these four.
  6. Is the proton stable ? We have discussed this in some detail, but the question is related to fundamental aspects of the unification of forces. We may never know from experiment that the proton is stable, only that it is very long lived.
  7. Are there magnetic monopoles ? Many particle theories call for very massive individual north- and south-pole particles—magnetic monopoles. If they exist, why are they so different in mass and elusiveness from electric charges, and if they do not exist, why not?
  8. Do neutrinos have mass ? Definitive evidence has emerged for neutrinos having mass. The implications are significant, as discussed in this chapter. There are effects on the closure of the universe and on the patterns in particle physics.
  9. What are the systematic characteristics of high- Z size 12{Z} {} nuclei ? All elements with Z = 118 size 12{Z="118"} {} or less (with the exception of 115 and 117) have now been discovered. It has long been conjectured that there may be an island of relative stability near Z = 114 size 12{Z="114"} {} , and the study of the most recently discovered nuclei will contribute to our understanding of nuclear forces.

These lists of questions are not meant to be complete or consistently important—you can no doubt add to it yourself. There are also important questions in topics not broached in this text, such as certain particle symmetries, that are of current interest to physicists. Hopefully, the point is clear that no matter how much we learn, there always seems to be more to know. Although we are fortunate to have the hard-won wisdom of those who preceded us, we can look forward to new enlightenment, undoubtedly sprinkled with surprise.

Section summary

  • On the largest scale, the questions which can be asked may be about dark matter, dark energy, black holes, quasars, and other aspects of the universe.
  • On the intermediate scale, we can query about gravity, phase transitions, nonlinear phenomena, high- T c size 12{T rSub { size 8{c} } } {} superconductors, and magnetic effects on materials.
  • On the smallest scale, questions may be about quarks and leptons, fundamental forces, stability of protons, and existence of monopoles.

Conceptual questions

For experimental evidence, particularly of previously unobserved phenomena, to be taken seriously it must be reproducible or of sufficiently high quality that a single observation is meaningful. Supernova 1987A is not reproducible. How do we know observations of it were valid? The fifth force is not broadly accepted. Is this due to lack of reproducibility or poor-quality experiments (or both)? Discuss why forefront experiments are more subject to observational problems than those involving established phenomena.

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Discuss whether you think there are limits to what humans can understand about the laws of physics. Support your arguments.

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Questions & Answers

write an expression for a plane progressive wave moving from left to right along x axis and having amplitude 0.02m, frequency of 650Hz and speed if 680ms-¹
Gabriel Reply
how does a model differ from a theory
Friday Reply
what is vector quantity
Ridwan Reply
Vector quality have both direction and magnitude, such as Force, displacement, acceleration and etc.
Is the force attractive or repulsive between the hot and neutral lines hung from power poles? Why?
Jack Reply
what's electromagnetic induction
Chinaza Reply
electromagnetic induction is a process in which conductor is put in a particular position and magnetic field keeps varying.
wow great
what is mutual induction?
mutual induction can be define as the current flowing in one coil that induces a voltage in an adjacent coil.
how to undergo polarization
Ajayi Reply
show that a particle moving under the influence of an attractive force mu/y³ towards the axis x. show that if it be projected from the point (0,k) with the component velocities U and V parallel to the axis of x and y, it will not strike the axis of x unless u>v²k² and distance uk²/√u-vk as origin
Gabriel Reply
show that a particle moving under the influence of an attractive force mu/y^3 towards the axis x. show that if it be projected from the point (0,k) with the component velocities U and V parallel to the axis of x and y, it will not strike the axis of x unless u>v^2k^2 and distance uk^2/√u-k as origin
Gabriel Reply
No idea.... Are you even sure this question exist?
I can't even understand the question
yes it was an assignment question "^"represent raise to power pls
mu/y³ u>v²k² uk²/√u-vk please help me out
An engineer builds two simple pendula. Both are suspended from small wires secured to the ceiling of a room. Each pendulum hovers 2 cm above the floor. Pendulum 1 has a bob with a mass of 10kg . Pendulum 2 has a bob with a mass of 100 kg . Describe how the motion of the pendula will differ if the bobs are both displaced by 12º .
Imtiaz Reply
no ideas
if u at an angle of 12 degrees their period will be same so as their velocity, that means they both move simultaneously since both both hovers at same length meaning they have the same length
Modern cars are made of materials that make them collapsible upon collision. Explain using physics concept (Force and impulse), how these car designs help with the safety of passengers.
Isaac Reply
calculate the force due to surface tension required to support a column liquid in a capillary tube 5mm. If the capillary tube is dipped into a beaker of water
Mildred Reply
find the time required for a train Half a Kilometre long to cross a bridge almost kilometre long racing at 100km/h
method of polarization
What is atomic number?
Makperr Reply
The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom
type of thermodynamics
Yinka Reply
oxygen gas contained in a ccylinder of volume has a temp of 300k and pressure 2.5×10Nm
Taheer Reply
why the satellite does not drop to the earth explain
Emmanuel Reply
what is a matter
what is matter
what is matter
what is a matter
I want the nuclear physics conversation
because space is a vacuum and anything outside the earth 🌎 can not come back without an act of force applied to it to leave the vacuum and fall down to the earth with a maximum force length of 30kcm per second

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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