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Pressure inside a proton?
Posted on Thursday, May 02, 2019 @ 09:57:14 GMT by vlad

Science Anonymous writes: Via Phys.org: Physicists calculate proton's pressure distribution for first time by Jennifer Chu, MIT

MIT physicists have calculated the pressure distribution inside a proton for the first time. They found the proton’s high-pressure core pushes out, while the surrounding region pushes inward. Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Neutron stars are among the densest-known objects in the universe, withstanding pressures so great that one teaspoon of a star's material would equal about 15 times the weight of the moon. Yet as it turns out, protons—the fundamental particles that make up most of the visible matter in the universe—contain even higher pressures.



For the first time, MIT physicists have calculated a proton's pressure distribution, and found that the particle contains a highly pressurized core that, at its most intense point, is generating greater pressures than are found inside a neutron star.

This core pushes out from the proton's center, while the surrounding region pushes inward. (Imagine a baseball attempting to expand inside a soccer ball that is collapsing.) The competing pressures act to stabilize the proton's overall structure.

The physicists' results, published today in Physical Review Letters, represent the first time that scientists have calculated a proton's pressure distribution by taking into account the contributions of both quarks and gluons, the proton's fundamental, subnuclear constituents.

"Pressure is a fundamental aspect of the proton that we know very little about at the moment," says lead author Phiala Shanahan, assistant professor of physics at MIT. "Now we've found that quarks and gluons in the center of the proton are generating significant outward pressure, and further to the edges, there's a confining pressure. With this result, we're driving toward a complete picture of the proton's structure."

Shanahan carried out the study with co-author William Detmold, associate professor of physics at MIT.

Remarkable quarks

In May 2018, physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility announced that they had measured the proton's pressure distribution for the first time, using a beam of electrons that they fired at a target made of hydrogen. The electrons interacted with quarks inside the protons in the target. The physicists then determined the pressure distribution throughout the proton, based on the way in which the electrons scattered from the target. Their results showed a high-pressure center in the proton that at its point of highest pressure measured about 1035 pascals, or 10 times the pressure inside a neutron star.

However, Shanahan says their picture of the proton's pressure was incomplete.

"They found a pretty remarkable result," Shanahan says. "But that result was subject to a number of important assumtions that were necessary because of our incomplete understanding."

Specifically, the researchers based their pressure estimates on the interactions of a proton's quarks, but not its gluons. Protons consist of both quarks and gluons, which continuously interact in a dynamic and fluctuating way inside the proton. The Jefferson Lab team was only able to determine the contributions of quarks with its detector, which Shanahan says leaves out a large part of a proton's pressure contribution.

"Over the last 60 years, we've built up quite a good understanding of the role of quarks in the structure of the proton," she says. "But gluon structure is far, far harder to understand since it is notoriously difficult to measure or calculate."


Source: https://phys.org/news/2019-02-physicists-proton-pressure.html


 
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"Pressure inside a proton?" | Login/Create an Account | 2 comments | Search Discussion
The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

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How a proton gets its spin is still debated (Score: 1)
by vlad on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 @ 14:18:53 GMT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.zpenergy.com
Posted by Anonymous: Like a quantum version of a whirling top, protons have angular momentum, known as spin. But the source of the subatomic particles’ spin has confounded physicists. Now scientists have confirmed that some of that spin comes from a frothing sea of particles known as quarks and their antimatter partners, antiquarks, found inside the proton. 

Surprisingly, a less common type of antiquark contributes more to a proton’s spin than a more plentiful variety, scientists with the STAR experiment report March 14 in Physical Review D.

Quarks come in an assortment of types, the most common of which are called up quarks and down quarks. Protons are made up of three main quarks: two up quarks and one down quark. But protons also have a “sea,” or an entourage of transient quarks and antiquarks of different types, including up, down and other varieties (SN: 4/29/17, p. 22).

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/proton-spin-quarks



An experiment suggests that quantum entanglement could exists within protons (Score: 1)
by vlad on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 @ 14:21:42 GMT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.zpenergy.com

Posted by Anonymous: Protons are complicated. The subatomic particles are themselves composed of smaller particles called quarks and gluons. Now, data from the Large Hadron Collider hint that protons’ constituents don’t behave independently. Instead, they are tethered by quantum links known as entanglement, three physicists report in a paper published April 26 at arXiv.org.

Quantum entanglement has previously been probed on scales much larger than a proton. In experiments, entangled particles seem to instantaneously influence one another, sometimes even when separated by distances as large as thousands of kilometers (SN: 8/5/17, p. 14). Although scientists suspected that entanglement occurs within a proton, signs of that phenomenon hadn’t been experimentally demonstrated inside the particle, which is about a trillionth of a millimeter across.

“The idea is, this is a quantum mechanical particle which, if you look inside it, … it’s itself entangled,” says theoretical physicist Piet Mulders of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, who was not involved with the research.

Full story: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/experiment-hints-quantum-entanglement-inside-protons




 

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