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Q & A: Energy units for elementry particles

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Most recent answer: 06/07/2013
Q:
In a graph,the charge of the six types of quarks was plotted against their respective masses,but there,mass w tas expressed as a function of the ratio(E/c*c).Why?
- Saransh Choudhary (age 17)
siliguri,west bengal,India
A:

Energy can be expressed in many different units, ergs, Jouels, Watt-seconds, etc.   In describing the masses of fundamental particles like electron, mesons, quarks, etc the standard of the industry is 'electron volt' which is the energy acquired by accelerating an electron through a potential of 1 Volt.   When comparing different masses it really doesn't make any difference which units you use.   So plotting the masses as a function of E/c2 is fine,  it's a proper energy unit.   The important information is in the ratios of the masses.

 

LeeH


(published on 06/07/2013)

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