Monday, July 28, 2014

Particle Spin Crisis

You would think as long as we've known Mr. Proton, we would KNOW Mr. Proton. 

Turns out we don't have a clue what makes the proton have it's specific spin. We even have a term for our lack of understanding. We call it 

I hope this turns out better than
 the Cuban Missile Crisis.

A really long time ago we couldn't yet measure tiny stuff, so scientists just made stuff up and didn't tell anybody that their 'theory' came from a late night drugfest.

In the 1987 they finally were able to measure the proton and discovered their prior claim that the three quark particles were responsible for the spin of the Proton was bogus make believe. Instead, we discovered it wasn't even close to explaining the proton's spin. The quarks contribute somewhere between 0 & 25%. 

Their new idea: Hey, maybe it's the gluons holding everything together.

Hold on! Why is something called GLUE ON increasing spins. That's not what glue normally does.

Sidebar complaint: Scientists should not be allowed to name things with meaningful names until they actually know what the particle actually does.

Finally, during another late night and not entirely legal party, they confessed that the proton is nothing like a spinning marble. It's not even close to a marble. It's a jumble of phantom particles that keep appearing and disappearing.

Stop right there!  I'm okay with things appearing and disappearing, but when you call them 'phantom particles' they loose all credibility of existence. 

Allow me to jump to a different subject. Space science (that's easier to spell than Cosmology)  has discovered math works better if we declare the universe to have four not three dimensions and assume the barriers of the dimensions are squishy. (Time is NOT included in these dimensions)

Jumping back to the proton now...
I'm thinking the proton particles pop in and out of this fourth dimension. And maybe they get riled up in the fourth dimension where really cool things happen that we won't get to know about until we die. And possibly not even then.

The current SCIENTIFIC belief is that 50% of the proton's spin is caused by the gluons.

(My math say that leaves 50-25% unaccounted for, so I'm sticking to my fourth dimension theory.)

As the article goes on, they admit the gluons might affect the remaining % of the proton spin, maybe....they don't know.  If it's not just gluons, then MAYBE it's the angular momentum of quarks and gluon.... (Translate all this to mean: We don't have a clue so we'll just make really complicated nonsensical stuff up.) But until they can figure this and some other stuff out, the proton spin crisis remains.

Translation: Embrace the Proton Spin Crisis, it's going to hang around....

Unless, the party I'm throwing for the 4 dimensional math team can figure this crisis out while they are working on the explanation for Life, the universe and everything. (Turns out assuming four dimensions makes everything simpler.)

Not sure if number 42 will show up or not.
But I'm sure rooting for it.

Now to the real articles:

For the Fourth Diminsion, I'll give you the link, but they aren't sharing unless you are a subscriber. I've no skin in this game, but SA is a great magazine to subscribe to. 


  1. They need to be more careful about calling it a crisis. It's a crisis for those trying to understand, but believe me, the proton will keep on spinning whether we understand it or not! Just sayin'.
    THanks for sharing.

    1. LOL, Very good point. The crisis is only to their self esteem, for they are clueless about their subject of expertise.

  2. I'm a little worried about the people who name things. We have a lot of strange names out there and they don't seem to mean what they are supposed to mean. Then again, these people can't agree on when the next ice age is going to happen and if there really is global warming. I'll just go hide in my bunker until this crisis is over.

    1. Don't bother. They don't seem to be making any progress at all. Just enjoy your life.


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