" How wonderful is the power of man! Chained down to the surface of the earth,an intelligent atom on a grain of sand lost in the immensity of a space, he invents instruments which multiply a thousand-fold his vision, he sounds the depths of the ether, gauges the visible universe, and counts the myriads of stars which people it; next, studying their most complicated movements, he measures exactly their dimensions and the distances of the nearest of them from the earth, and next deduces their masses; then, discovering in the seeming disorder of the stellar groupings real bonds of union, he at last evolves order from apparent confusion. The heavens.—Amedee Guillemin "
Of what Materials is the earth composed, and in what manner are these materials arranged? Interestingly, the answer this week to Charles Lyell's question is different from last week. It was discovered the lego God used - a 'radius of charge' - the proton - is 5% smaller.
(about 42 trillion protons fit into a period like this one . )
"The proton is an intrigung particle" the author of the paper discusses. "It's not a point like particle but made of quark/antiquark pairs. 3 valence quarks, which are surrounded by more c quarks.. so this makes for some distribution of charge. We have measured the area of radius of this cloud of charge" .. and it's 5% smaller. Basically the explanation is the electron was used to measure it's 'charge dimensions earlier' - now a more accurate 'heavier' muon particle gives new results. Anyway, very interesting idea.
Think how many people have periodic tables on their walls - perhaps thinking how great and beautiful it is everything around us is composed of these different building blocks, but really they are just effectively proton with matching neutron and electron patterns - and the hidden proton woman is now 5% thinner. Sorta interesting the noble prize has gone to people who have created new elements, looking at the table looking for some guess on a new one, when the very elements already discovered had mysteries staring them in the face. Is the neutron now smaller? Who knows - I don't. But interesting to consider the 'archipelagos of worlds' out there and the immensity of suns - ones which no human will ever see - down to the most minute of matter, and the ignorance hovering over our desire to understand it all. Who gives a shit about the answers, its pretty neat.
Pictured: The sistine chapel - paint on protons