The ABC Preon Model, Background: the Standard Model of Elementary Particle Physics

Post by delbertlarson at ATS
This thread is the first of what I plan to be a series of several threads concerning my ABC Preon Model. I look forward to everyone’s comments. To get started, I’ll first present a review of how the science of elementary particle physics got to where it is today.

The figure above shows a portion of the particles that were discovered using particle accelerators. The number of such particles became so large that it was termed “a particle zoo”. It was clear by the early 1960’s that the number of particles discovered was getting so large that there was likely some underlying pattern that could simplify our view of elementary particle physics.

A major step forward in simplifying mankind’s view of nature occurred in 1964 when Murry Gell-Mann and George Zweig proposed an underlying model. Gell-Mann had used the term quark for the elementary particles, while Zweig had used the term ace. Eventually, the term “quark” was accepted by the community. In the quark model, Hadronic matter is proposed to be built from underlying quarks. Baryons are states that have three bound quarks, while mesons are a bound quark-antiquark pair. Leptons were identified as a separate type of matter. As a result, in 1964, simplicity was reestablished. Nature consisted of three quarks, named up, down, and strange, and four leptons, which were the electron, the muon, and their two associated neutrinos.

The initial simplicity of the quark model began to fade into complexity almost immediately. In 1965 Glashow and Bjorken proposed a fourth quark, the charm quark, which was discovered by Richter and Ting in 1974. In 1970 Kobayashi and Maskawa theorized that CP violation in experimental results could be explained by adding two more quarks, and indeed these quarks were discovered by Ferimab researchers. The bottom quark was discovered in 1977 and the top in 1995. Also, over the period between 1974 and 1977, a new lepton, the tau, was discovered at SLAC by a team of collaborators.

In addition to the quarks and leptons, force carriers are a central part of today’s standard model. In 1979, Glashow, Weinberg and Salam proposed the electro-weak theory of particle interactions to unify the weak and electromagnetic forces in a single theoretical framework. This work predicted the existence of three more particles, which were called the intermediate vector bosons. The weak bosons, called the W and Z, were discovered by a team at CERN led by Carlo Rubia in 1983. Simon van der Meer enabled the discovery by leading the development of stochastic cooling of particle beams. Note that the W boson comes in two types, one with a positive electric charge and the other negatively charged, while the Z particle has zero electric charge.

In the figure above we see a depiction of the standard model for elementary particles as advertised by its proponents. The depiction shows a rather simple set of 16 particles, which includes six quarks, six leptons and four force carriers.

Despite the advertised simplicity of the standard model, the model has several problems that leave it rather unsatisfactory from a philosophical point of view. The first additional complication is that the rules used to form particles involve a color charge. It is of course perfectly acceptable that nature may employ otherwise identical particles that have one of three color charges, but the downside is that this means that there are actually three quarks for each one listed in the figure above. The theory also specifies that there are eight different gluons, not just the one shown above. Secondly, each quark and lepton shown in the figure above has an antimatter counterpart. This too is OK, even necessary, but it means that there are twice as many particles than the number advertised above. And beyond the counting slight of hand, there are additional problems.

Fundamental to present theory is the result that no quark can be isolated. As quarks become separated from their partners, the theory stipulates that the force pulling them back in gets ever larger. Before a quark can be freed, separating it involves a force so large that the energy associated with it is capable of generating a quark antiquark pair, and each member of the pair then associates with the fragments of what was being pulled apart, so no quark can ever be isolated. In light of this, as philosophers we should ask: How can something be proven to exist if it can never be isolated? I would submit that such existence can never be proven – only inferred.

Another problem is that the weak force has no direction. Typical forces such as the electric, magnetic and gravitational forces have both magnitude and direction. They are vector quantities. But the weak force is really a particle exchange phenomena that has no direction associated with it. A last known problem is that there is no satisfactory calculational framework for the standard model. There are many good approximation schemes, but the mathematics is not anywhere close to the elegance and accuracy of quantum electrodynamics. This makes it hard to compare results against theory to test the model. (For instance, a pion is presumed to be a two body state. The two body problem is well known, yet there is no standard model prediction for pion masses.) For all of these reasons, despite its success, it took quite a while for the quark model to gain full acceptance in the physics community. I recall back in the early days speakers starting their comments by saying, “in what is now the standard way of doing things” and eventually “in what is becoming the standard model of our field”. The standard model was indeed the model that became the standard way of looking at things, but early on everyone was under the belief that something better would soon come along.

Above we see a figure that is more honest in its presentation of the existing standard model. Shown above are each of the three colors of each of the six quarks as well as their antimatter partners. Also shown are all six leptons along with their antimatter partners. Lastly, all the force carriers are shown. With this full accounting of particles it is seen that the standard model involves 61 elementary particles, since there are 18 quarks, 18 anti-quarks, 6 leptons and 13 force carriers. While some standard model proponents may argue that a red up quark is the same as a blue up quark, the rebuttal is that we certainly don’t believe that a positron is the same particle as an electron. Even though a positron is identical to an electron in every aspect except for its electric charge and lepton number we still recognize that any such difference means that the particles are different particles. Similarly, an up quark with a red charge should be recognized as a different particle than an up quark with a blue charge if we are going to have an honest appraisal of our elementary particles. With this honest appraisal it is clear from the diagram presented above that the standard model has reached the point in its development where a simpler underpinning is desirable.

The treatment I have presented here so far has focused solely on a mental picture of what particles and forces make up our world. But modern physics in general, and the standard model specifically, is considerably more than just a physical model. Indeed, there are many who take the position that a physical model of nature is not something we as mere mortals are even capable of understanding. That latter philosophy dates back to relativity and the early quantum theories, theories that originally seemed quite odd, but theories that survived every important test. And therefore, with the underlying physical modeling so difficult to mentally grasp, modern physics turned toward mathematics and underlying principles instead of physical mental pictures. Between them, the principle of relativity and the principle of least action have been used very successfully to blend into a Lagrangian approach that has produced a mathematical understanding of our world. The pictures above are rather gross simplifications of the true theory, and while those simplifications are useful to describe things to the public at large, the truer picture of the standard model comes from the Lagrangian, which is far more complex that even the rather complicated picture of 61 “elementary” particles.

Above we see the first of 30 equations from a reference available here… that serves as one reference for the Lagrangian of the present Standard Model. The terms in the Lagrangian got a good start based on the work of Dirac, who successfully arrived at a covariant formalism (meaning it is manifestly consistent with relativity) for electrons and positrons. From there, the work of many others has been successfully incorporated into a theory of mammoth proportions. We have come a long way from the simple expressions used by Newton, Maxwell, Lorentz and Einstein. So now, with such vast complexity, I believe we should ask “Is nature really that complex? Or might there be a simpler understanding?”

Of course, there are many good things about the standard model. First, it gets everything right. No known experiment is in violation of the standard model. And whenever new experiments indicate that something might not quite fit, the standard model has exhibited the room for growth needed to accommodate any new experimental results. Mixing angles and renormalization, as well as additional quarks and leptons have been added to the model over time. The analysis techniques are extremely complex, and it takes a decade or more to master them. A full Ph.D. in physics, as well as post doctoral training, are usually needed to fully grasp the intricacies of the model, and even then, practitioners may only be truly expert in a small portion of the overall model. Furthermore, development of the standard model has involved man-centuries of effort by some of the best, brightest and most trained members of the globe. As a result, the standard model is a monument to the creativity of man, and one that results in a complete modeling of all known particles and forces.

But at this moment, it is also important to note that there were many good things about the Music of the Spheres model… for celestial mechanics as well. First, it got everything right. No known observation of stellar or planetary motions were in violation of its tenets. And whenever new experiments indicated that something might not quite fit, the celestial mechanics model exhibited the room for growth needed to accommodate any new experimental results. Additional spheres, cycles and epi-cycles were added to the model over time as new observations became verified. The analysis techniques were extremely complex, and it took practitioners of the time a decade or more to fully grasp the intricacies of the model. Furthermore, development of the classical celestial model involved man-centuries of effort by some of the best, brightest and most trained members of the globe. As a result, the classical celestial model was a monument to the creativity of man that resulted in a complete modeling of all known stellar and planetary motions.

Please be advised that I am not attempting to mock the standard model by comparing it to the medieval and now discredited celestial model. I truly believe that the medieval celestial model was indeed a monumental achievement, and I feel it deserves much more credit than it presently gets. The credit should come because of its attention to detail, its coherent fundamentals, and its mathematically correct and exact derivations that led to explanations of all experimental data. It was indeed an impressive effort. However, Kepler and Copernicus showed us that a much simpler model was possible. And it is my belief that nature is simpler than the standard model as well, the details of which we will get into on my next thread in this series.


The ABC Preon Model. Modeling the Massive Leptons.

– By delbertlarson
The first observation relevant to the ABC Preon Model occurred to me when I was a graduate student in the very early 1980’s. I noticed that the decay of the muon was extremely similar to the decay of a hydrogen atom from an excited state into its ground state. Below we see drawings of the two events. In the first drawing, we can see a muon decay. The muon decays into an electron, and two neutrinos. Neutrinos were believed to be either massless or nearly so.

In the second drawing, we see hydrogen excited into its 2s state decaying into its ground state by emitting two photons. The photons are believed to be massless.

Notice that muon decay appears in many ways to be similar to the decay of hydrogen from its 2s state. A muon decays into an electron by emitting two neutrinos, while a hydrogen atom in its 2s state decays into a hydrogen atom in its 1s state by emitting two photons. Here we introduce the standard notation for neutrinos and photons by denoting a neutrino by the Greek letter nu, and a photon by the Greek letter gamma. It is known that the hydrogen atom is very effectively modeled as a proton and an electron being bound by a photon, and therefore the starting point for the ABC Preon Model is to propose that the massive leptons consist of two new particles, called preons, bound by a neutrino. The word preon is meant to confer a precursor particle to the ones presently assumed to be elementary, and that is why I refer to this new model as a preon model.

Below we see pictures of the internal structure of the hydrogen atom and our proposed preon model of the massive leptons. In the Hydrogen atom, an electron orbits a proton, and the force is carried by a photon:

In our newly proposed massive lepton model, we will propose an analogous substructure with one particle orbiting another. From experiment, we observe that hydrogen decays into its ground state by emitting photons, and a photon is the carrier of the force that binds it. Hence, since muons decay into electrons by emitting neutrinos, it follows from our analogy that the force that binds the preons together to form massive leptons is carried by the neutrino. Therefore a neutrino is shown as the binding quanta in the picture. At this point in the development we will simply name the preons “A” and “B” and we will investigate their properties later on, in future threads:

I want to emphasize how simple the onset of this new elementary particle model is. We simply look at the decay processes of Hydrogen and muons and propose that the internal structure of the muon is composed analogously to the internal structure of hydrogen. Since the radiated particle is a neutrino instead of a photon, we replace the photon by the neutrino. It is all just a simple observation at this point.

We’ve just seen how our analogy with the hydrogen atom has led to a proposal that the muon is the second quantum state of a composite system, and that the electron is the first quantum state. Of course, there is a third massive lepton, the tauon, that also has properties nearly identical to the muon and the electron, but with an even heavier mass. In the model proposed here, it is easy to identify the tauon as being the next excited state of the same composite system. And while the force binding the preon particles together is quite strong, neutrinos can still flow freely through matter as long as the cross section for the interaction is low. This is similar to the fact that some photons flow relatively freely through glass.

What this all mean to us, ordinary mortals, not versed in physics lanquage as further explained  by delbertlarson.
“Both the Standard Model and the ABC Preon Model are models for elementary particle physics, which is the study of the ultimate building blocks of nature. The quest to answer the question “What is the World Made of?” is one of the great philosophical undertakings that has occupied mankind’s thoughts since the ancient Greeks.

As for elements, in the ancient model, the world was thought to be composed of four elements – earth, fire, air and water. As history unfolded, additional elements were found and added to the list. Around the late middle ages, chemistry replaced the earth, fire, air and water model with a model of chemical elements. But the chemical element model was complex, as it involved around 100 elements, some of which came in multiple isotopic varieties. By the 1930’s it was appreciated that all elements were actually made up of three sub-atomic particles – the electron, proton, and neutron. However, by the 1950’s, experimentation with beams resulting from accelerators showed that there were vastly more sub-atomic particles – so many, that the situation was called “the particle zoo”. In the mid-1960’s it was theorized that the particles of the particle zoo could all be understood in terms of underlying particles called quarks and leptons. Today, the quark and lepton model has so many particle members that I call it “the quark and lepton zoo”, and the ABC Preon Model will show that there is a much simpler underpinning for all particles known to exist.

Along with our increasing knowledge of elements (particles) we have also evolved in our knowledge concerning the forces that act within our world. Newton proposed several valuable laws, including a law of the gravitational force. Several scientists contributed to the study of electricity and magnetism, leading up to Maxwell’s equations. Lorentz and others found modifications to Newton’s force laws in the early 1900’s. The Standard Model has increased our knowledge with the elucidation of two more forces – the strong and the weak, as well as modifications to gravity. The ABC Preon Model advances our knowledge further, by identifying what is believed to be the weak force with simple quantum tunneling, further refining our knowledge.

Now you might say, well, that’s nice, but what does it mean for me? And the answer is that if you evaluate technological advances made in the past two millennia, a great many of them can be seen to spring from our knowledge of chemistry, electricity, magnetism, and force laws. Understanding electricity and magnetism has led to electric power and electric lights. Understanding quantum mechanics, along with the prior advances in electromagnetism, led to the microchip and modern computing and phones. And these are of course just minimal examples – there are vastly more. If we next can more fully understand the nuclear force it may lead to further significant advances. For one thing, we know the sun to be powered by fusion, and if we know enough we could perhaps put fusion generation devices on a chip, resulting in clean, safe (if we use a-neutronic fusion), and unlimited power. And that is just one example, as it is of course hard to predict what uses may come once we are in a position to use any newly found knowledge.”

The ABC Preon Model. Assigning Some Quantum Numbers.

– By delbertlarson

In the previous thread, we introduced the preonic modeling for the massive leptons, repeated here in the picture below:

At this point in our development, we can now move on to assign some quantum numbers to our preons. A first point of analysis is to note that to date, no experiment has shown the existence of free electric charge in fractional amounts. For that reason, we will begin by arbitrarily assigning our new A preon to have zero electric charge and our new B preon to have a charge of minus one. Since the neutrino has zero electric charge, this will leave our leptons as having a charge of minus one, as they must. Note that the antimatter leptons will have a charge of plus one, but we will deal with that topic later. Next, it is known that the neutrino has a half integer spin. In this model I am assuming that one quanta of the binding particle is contained within the composite particle, and hence, the A and B particles can either be both fermions or both bosons. Recall that Fermions are particles with half integer spin, while bosons are particles with integer spin.

By adding two fermions one will get an integer value, and then adding the half integer of the neutrino results in an overall half integer spin. Similarly, adding the spin of two bosons results in an integer spin, and then adding the half integer of the neutrino results in an overall half integer spin. Recall that in all of these additions, spin is a vector quantity. So if we add a half integer spin of the A to a half integer of the B we will get either one or zero. When we then add the half integer of the neutrino we will either get one half or one and a half. We will get one and a half if all three spins are aligned. Since leptons have a spin of one half, this means that all three such spins cannot be aligned. A similar analysis can be done if the spin of the A and the B are bosons with integer values of spin, and that case will have similar constraints on the needed alignments.

Here we will also propose a new charge law for the preons. Since the force carrier has been proposed to be the neutrino, we will call this new charge the neutrinic charge. Following our analogy with the hydrogen atom, where an electrically negative particle orbits a positive nucleus, here we will have a particle with a negative neutrinic charge orbiting a particle that has a positive neutrinic charge. We can arbitrarily assign a negative neutrinic charge to the B particle we proposed earlier, and a positive neutrinic charge to the A particle we proposed earlier. Since the neutrinic charge is arbitrary, we are free to attach the electric charge to either of the particles, and we have already chosen to assign the B particle a negative electric charge, while leaving the A particle with zero electric charge. Here we see a picture of the massive leptons with their quantum numbers assigned:

The nomenclature introduced above is to have a trailing superscript indicating the electric charge on the preon and a preceding subscript indicating the neutrinic charge on the preon. With the total electric charge being equal to minus one, we see that our preon model for leptons gives the correct electric charge. With each substituent having the opposite neutrinic charge, we see that our constructs have overall zero neutrinic charge. The result that stable particles have zero total neutrinic charge is the analogy of the fact that atoms also have zero total electrical charge. Lastly, by having the A and B particles be either both fermions or both bosons, the total spin of the leptons can be arranged to be half integer, since the bound neutrino is itself a half integer spin particle. Hence, all quantum numbers of the leptons are obtained in a model that readily allows for three generations of leptons. (At this point in the development, it is not known whether the spins of the preons are bosons or fermions, only that they are both fermions or both bosons, and the spins are constrained so that the total spin of the massive leptons is one half.)

Also introduced in the picture above are the anti-matter counterparts to the massive leptons, as well as anti-preons. A line (also called a bar) above the letter identifying the preon indicates it is an anti-preon. It will turn out in future analysis that the massive leptons are actually made up of a B and an anti-A, rather than a B and an A, so that improvement to the model is introduced above as well.

With massive leptons now modeled and their quantum numbers defined, we’ll see how hadrons get modeled in the next post.


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