# Smallest possible mass?

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I believe that mass can be classified by two parts, the space a system takes up along with the actual physical system in which takes up space. The former may be classified as volume and the later be classified as the observation of that volume. If you are attempting to observe the smallest mass then this may create a certain paradox or level of uncertainty due to whether or not the observer is affecting that mass due to said observation of that mass. Maybe even the usage of time begins to break down due to time itself being a for, of observation. Therefore in order to begin to classify if there is such a thing as an "absolute mass" one may first need to choose the correct observer medium which in turn is constant inside of all space. My first thought would be using the space of light, however, I am a novice when it comes to physics so I am unsure. Please message me with a response of what you think so that I can correct myself for issues in my understanding of physics.

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1 hour ago, ALine said:

I believe that mass can be classified by two parts, the space a system takes up along with the actual physical system in which takes up space.

Volume is not mass.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Strange said:

Volume is not mass

My mistake, was attempting to describe surface area or the outshell of the massive object. If this is still incorrect please correct me.

Edited by ALine
Mis spoke

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6 minutes ago, ALine said:

My mistake, was attempting to describe surface area or the outshell of the massive object. If this is still incorrect please correct me.

Mass and volume are independent.

2 hours ago, ALine said:

If you are attempting to observe the smallest mass then this may create a certain paradox or level of uncertainty due to whether or not the observer is affecting that mass due to said observation of that mass.

Why would observing an object change the mass?

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The smallest particles in mass should be the Quark Up: 2.3±0.7 ± 0.5 MeV/c²

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9 minutes ago, MaximT said:

The smallest particles in mass should be the Quark Up: 2.3±0.7 ± 0.5 MeV/c²

Why? The electron is about 1/4 the mass. And neutrinos lighter still.

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4 minutes ago, Strange said:

Why? The electron is about 1/4 the mass. And neutrinos lighter still.

Electron is not matter, neutrino neither, but it's a matter of perception...

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4 minutes ago, MaximT said:

Electron is not matter

The question didn't specify matter. But as it is electrons that give matter most of its volume and solidity, because they are fermions, I would say they are matter particles.

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4 minutes ago, Strange said:

But as it is electrons that give matter most of its volume

Yes, but for me I prefer Hadron, because they are more fundamental in what substance atom are... It's a difficult question.

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2 hours ago, MaximT said:

Electron is not matter, neutrino neither, but it's a matter of perception...

Why not ?

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Maybe I mistaken, but:

Quote

physical substance in general, as distinct from mind and spirit; (in physics) that which occupies space and possesses rest mass, especially as distinct from energy.

I prefer matter to be atom, Hadrons, so quarks, but it's only a matter of perspective. The question was about the smallest mass, it's almost philosophical. So, my personal answer is quark Up.

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11 minutes ago, MaximT said:

Maybe I mistaken, but:

I prefer matter to be atom, Hadrons, so quarks, but it's only a matter of perspective. The question was about the smallest mass, it's almost philosophical. So, my personal answer is quark Up.

OK so your comment is a result of personal preference.

I agree that question has become wooly since the advent of sub atomic physics: before it was well defined.

I would also like to point out that when posing the question the OP was hoping to propose some sort of quantum hierarchy.

But thank you for answering.

I was hoping for

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4 hours ago, Strange said:

Volume is not mass.

Hmm, mass is defined as the resistance to a change in momentum. Is mass really any different than a gravitational perturbation?

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4 minutes ago, Butch said:

Is mass really any different than a gravitational perturbation?

Sorry, I'm getting your point. And gravitational perturbation can be as small than 0+. So there won't be any limitation on the smallest mass? By the distance of the perturbation and the mass origin of it?

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7 minutes ago, Butch said:

Is mass really any different than a gravitational perturbation?

Maybe not. One possible answer to the question "why does mass cause spacetime curvature?" could be: "that is the definition of mass."

And as space-time is continuous and the curvature is not quantised, that suggests that there is no quanta of mass.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Butch said:

Hmm, mass is defined as the resistance to a change in momentum. Is mass really any different than a gravitational perturbation?

How many times, Butch?

do we have to tell you that without mass there is no gravitational perturbation.

Mass is the cause not the effect and we do no know of any other cause.

Edited by studiot

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8 minutes ago, studiot said:

and we do no know of any other cause

Energy? Momentum flow? Strain?

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4 minutes ago, Strange said:

Energy? Momentum flow? Strain?

In what way?

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Just now, studiot said:

In what way?

They are components of the stress-energy tensor that contribute to the curvature of space time. (And writing that makes me realise I mean stress not strain. As you say, it is late.)

I think there are some (extreme) contexts where the pressure component can be the dominant effect.

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4 minutes ago, Strange said:

They are components of the stress-energy tensor that contribute to the curvature of space time. (And writing that makes me realise I mean stress not strain. As you say, it is late.)

I think there are some (extreme) contexts where the pressure component can be the dominant effect.

As I understand it, they always manifest themselves as an additional mass, just as plain old kinetic energy increases the mass of the travelling object.

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8 minutes ago, studiot said:

As I understand it, they always manifest themselves as an additional mass, just as plain old kinetic energy increases the mass of the travelling object.

My understanding of tensors is insufficient to comment. But I would have thought that the fact they appear in different positions in the stress-energy tensor would imply that only energy can be "aggregated" as relativistic mass. But I'm not sure. (And the concept of relativistic mass seems to have gone out of favour with some people.)

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8 hours ago, Strange said:

My understanding of tensors is insufficient to comment. But I would have thought that the fact they appear in different positions in the stress-energy tensor would imply that only energy can be "aggregated" as relativistic mass. But I'm not sure. (And the concept of relativistic mass seems to have gone out of favour with some people.)

In the case of a travelling object you can point to something definite to assign the additional mass to.

In some cases (such as fields - used in the physics sense) you have to assign it to the system as a whole.

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14 hours ago, MaximT said:

Yes, but for me I prefer Hadron, because they are more fundamental in what substance atom are... It's a difficult question.

Hadrons are composite particles, and, as such, are not fundamental.

It's not that difficult a question. If it's a fermion, or made of fermions, it's matter (or, possibly, antimatter)

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23 hours ago, Strange said:

Maybe not. One possible answer to the question "why does mass cause spacetime curvature?" could be: "that is the definition of mass."

And as space-time is continuous and the curvature is not quantised, that suggests that there is no quanta of mass.

I understand, however a gravitational system of perturbations interacting might produce what we perceive as a particle with mass, that is the mass I am seeking.

23 hours ago, studiot said:

How many times, Butch?

do we have to tell you that without mass there is no gravitational perturbation.

Mass is the cause not the effect and we do no know of any other cause.

Cause v effect is a very long running question, chicken or the egg?

It would seem that a mass could not exist without spin, however can spin exist without mass? Perhaps even this has roots? Could it be that mass and spin are the result of a system in which the two preserve one another? This is off topic however!

I am simply looking for the smallest possible mass. This is a matter of opinion obviously, I guess what I am truly looking for is inspiration! I usually find that there is plenty of that here, on this forum!

23 hours ago, Strange said:

They are components of the stress-energy tensor that contribute to the curvature of space time. (And writing that makes me realise I mean stress not strain. As you say, it is late.)

I think there are some (extreme) contexts where the pressure component can be the dominant effect.

If we ignore time... The problem becomes simpler I believe. We then have a single frame of reference. Tensors can be expressed without time as part of the equation. Of course that is not suitable in all cases, but it is sufficient for my problem, what is the smallest possible "rest" mass?

12 hours ago, swansont said:

Hadrons are composite particles, and, as such, are not fundamental.

It's not that difficult a question. If it's a fermion, or made of fermions, it's matter (or, possibly, antimatter)

It is my feeling that any entity with more than a single property, has underlying structure.

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54 minutes ago, Butch said:

I am simply looking for the smallest possible mass.

Then why do you introduce nearly every conceivable subject apart from mass?

It's very simple.

We know of no reason for mass to have a quantum lower limit.

So the smallest mass is the mass of the smallest thing possessing the property mass.

That does not mean we will not one day find a smaller thing with lower mass.

This chain of reasoning is entirely independent of spin, charge, colour, flavour, and a whole host of other properties.

So they do not need introducing or coupling to the question.