[OM] Re: Low cost backup

Subject: [OM] Re: Low cost backup
From: Moose <olymoose@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 17 May 2008 22:20:18 -0700
Chris Barker wrote:
> .....
> I also have a problem with Moose's mixing of metaphors: "quarks ...  colours 
> ... spin etc ..."
You misunderstand. Quarks have various characteristics, none of which 
really correspond with things on the size scale where we experience the 
universe. For good or ill, the Physicists who discovered quarks chose 
not to make up words to label all these qualities. Some,like 'spin' and 
'mass' wer similar enough to those qualities in other particles to be 
used. For those that had no apparent realtionship to anything else, they 
used the words 'color' and 'flavor' for things that aren't those at all.

Even a characteristic that sounds familiar, like mass, isn't quite what 
it seems.

"Although one speaks of quark mass in the same way as the mass of any 
other particle, the notion of mass for quarks is complicated by the fact 
that quarks cannot be found free in nature. As a result, the notion of a 
quark mass is a /theoretical construct/, which makes sense only when one 
specifies exactly the procedure used to define it."

They also named them somewhat whimsically; the six varieties being named 
Up, Down, Charm, Strange, Top and Bottom. Only missing Doc and Snow White.
> But then I haven't a clue what a quark might be.
Nor, to some extent, do the experts. Quarks seem to occupy a place 
somewhere between what most of us would call real and that of 
theoretical constructs. So long as experiments with the particles 
supposed to be composed of quarks conform to predictions based on the 
existence, characteristics and behavior of quarks, they may be treated 
as real.

The Red Queen may know more.


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