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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

derivative of first differential equation
Haruna Reply
why static friction is greater than Kinetic friction
Ali Reply
draw magnetic field pattern for two wire carrying current in the same direction
Ven Reply
An American traveler in New Zealand carries a transformer to convert New Zealand’s standard 240 V to 120 V so that she can use some small appliances on her trip.
nkombo Reply
What is the ratio of turns in the primary and secondary coils of her transformer?
nkombo
How electric lines and equipotential surface are mutually perpendicular?
Abid Reply
The potential difference between any two points on the surface is zero that implies È.Ŕ=0, Where R is the distance between two different points &E= Electric field intensity. From which we have cos þ =0, where þ is the angle between the directions of field and distance line, as E andR are zero. Thus
MAHADEV
sorry..E and R are non zero...
MAHADEV
By how much leeway (both percentage and mass) would you have in the selection of the mass of the object in the previous problem if you did not wish the new period to be greater than 2.01 s or less than 1.99 s?
Elene Reply
what Is linear momentum
Victoria Reply
why no diagrams
Blessing Reply
where
Fayyaz
Myanmar
Pyae
hi
Iroko
hello
Abdu
Describe an experiment to determine short half life
Tyson Reply
what is science
Kenedy Reply
it's a natural phenomena
Hassan
sap
Emmanuel
please can someone help me with explanations of wave
Benedine
there are seven basic type of wave radio waves, gyamma rays (nuclear energy), microwave,etc you can also search 🔍 on Google :-)
Shravasti
A 20MH coil has a resistance of 50 ohms and us connected in series with a capacitor to a 520MV supply
Musa Reply
what is physics
Caya Reply
it is the science which we used in our daily life
Sujitha
Physics is the branch of science that deals with the study of matter and the interactions it undergoes with energy
Junior
it is branch of science which deals with study of happening in the human life
AMIT
A 20MH coil has a resistance of 50 ohms and is connected in series with a capacitor to a 250MV supply if the circuit is to resonate at 100KHZ, Determine 1: the capacitance of the capacitor 2: the working voltage of the circuit, given that pie =3.142
Musa
Physics is the branch of science that deals with the study of matter and the interactions it undergoes with energy
Kelly
Heat is transfered by thermal contact but if it is transfered by conduction or radiation, is it possible to reach in thermal equilibrium?
Eden Reply
Yes, It is possible by conduction if Surface is Adiabatic
Astronomy
Yeah true ilwith d help of Adiabatic
Kelly
what are the fundamentals qualities
Magret Reply
what is physic3
Kalilu
what is physic
Kalilu
Physics? Is a branch of science dealing with matter in relation to energy.
Moses
Physic... Is a purging medicine, which stimulates evacuation of the bowels.
Moses
are you asking for qualities or quantities?
Noman
fundamental quantities are, length , mass, time, current, luminous intensity, amount of substance, thermodynamic temperature.
Shravasti
fundamental quantities are quantities that are independent of others and cannot be define in terms of other quantities there is nothing like Qualities we have only fundamental quantities which includes; length,mass,time, electric current, luminous density, temperature, amount of substance etc
Gift
give examples of three dimensional frame of reference
Ekwunazor Reply
Universe
Noman
Yes the Universe itself
Astronomy

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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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