# Questions about Spin and Color Charge

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My primary question deals with spin. I understand that there's a formula to calculate the spin of particles and that particles fall within two categories depending on their spin, but I do not understand what the formula is describing though. Is it describing how fast the particle is actually moving? Is it a calculation to determine a specific energy type? Or is it a hypothetical value to help understand a vector energy that's locked in an angular momentum due to color confinement or some force holding the particle together?

My next question is about the color force

My next tangent is purely a thought experiment which has had me pondering for awhile now. The term color charge and its seven colors are just arbitrary terms to help understand a tristate polarity instead of a normal duality. In nature you see duality everywhere; left and right, positive and negative, so it's easy to see how those values could be combined or neutral each other out. It's harder to grasp this notion in a tristate model where each point of three have to combined to cancel each other out. This happens in nature in the form of white light, three primary colors are added together to form white so we use these terms interchangeably with the values in the color charge theory. Now if we're talking about the guiding force that forms all physical matter, surely we should be able to find other examples of this tristate model. Then it came to me, all of physical matter is comprised of three values; Height x Width x Length.

This was a Eureka moment for me in that now I wasn't trying to imagine some arbitrary color term but instead focus on what I'm actually trying to imagine: a physical particle in matter space. Another way to think about this would be if saying the color charge is an energy that's emerging into the physical plane but only in one direction. You'd still need three directions of energy before you could establish a three dimensional point in space, but this way of thinking better illustrates energies coalescing into physical existence rather than energies canceling each other out and matter being creating as a byproduct. If the color charge is some kind of emergent dimensional energy and spin is a hypothetical value to describe an angular momentum at a particle's creation; could these two values be correlated or even interconnected?

Now to extrapolate that a little further while also simplifying it, one point of energy would be a single vector energy. Meaning it just wants to shoot out in one direction, but because of polarities, gravity, confinement, and other forces it never will so we describe this kinetic energy as angular momentum. This could explain why particles spin, though I don't know if this is the same value of spin I was asking about earlier. It could also help explain leptons which only have one elementary particle so only contain one value of spin and can be described as bundles of energy that never stop moving. They can't stop moving because they don't have any other alternate vector to pursue.

The second dimension is where I need to learn more about spin. Because the only particle that would have only two color charges would be gluons, which are force carrier particles and not normal matter correct? Another point of view is that gluons also have a spin value of 1, which if you consider a gluon to have two color charges (color/anticolor) then 1/2 plus 1/2 should equal 1. All force carriers have a spin value of 1 as well, is this a correlation of double emergent energies or just a forced perspective due to gullible ignorance? Probably the latter, but seeing as this is a thought experiment I'm going to continue with the former. Now if you consider a spin value of 1 to be two separate forces combined, then what you get is a line with two points. One directional force wants to continue in one direction forever, whereas a force that contains two dimensions can affect some type of change between two points. This certainly applies when you consider these are all force carrier particles, they affect change on all other particles.

And coming around full circle, particles with three color charges or these dimensional energies create shapes that contain these energies into physical space. If you think of the two-charge force, or force carriers in general, they affect change in one of two ways, e.g. attraction or repulsion. A third action to this push/pull effect would be confinement or holding on to it. In this sense, physical matter confines these energies in one place instead of zipping off through the cosmos or back and forth in-between infinitely short distances.

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2 minutes ago, Xechs said:

My primary question deals with spin. I understand that there's a formula to calculate the spin of particles and that particles fall within two categories depending on their spin, but I do not understand what the formula is describing though. Is it describing how fast the particle is actually moving? Is it a calculation to determine a specific energy type? Or is it a hypothetical value to help understand a vector energy that's locked in an angular momentum due to color confinement or some force holding the particle together?

It is not an actual rotation (because fundamental particles are zero-sized, and they are not really particles, and so there is nothing to spin).

But it is a measure of their angular momentum (as if they were spinning). This relates to the fact that they are described in terms of waves.

It is a "real thing". It was initially found by measuring the angular momentum of electrons in atoms. There is some angular momentum from the fact that electrons orbit the atom (actually, they don't, but that was the model at the time) and only way to account for the total angular momentum that was measured was to also assign some angular momentum to the particles themselves.

The angular momentum of particles is either an integer multiple of the basic amount or it is half-integer multiple (1/2, 3/2, etc). This is what distinguishes bosons from fermions.

8 minutes ago, Xechs said:

Then it came to me, all of physical matter is comprised of three values; Height x Width x Length.

The fundamental particles that have colour charge are of zero size. And there is no direction associated with the colour charge. So I can't really see how this idea can be applied to the real world.

11 minutes ago, Xechs said:

Now if you consider a spin value of 1 to be two separate forces combined, then what you get is a line with two points.

This doesn't work for gluons (for the reasons above) and there aren't really "two forces" in the case of photons or W, Z bosons.

And spin is not in any specific direction until you measure it; because that forces it to take on a specific direction (until you measure it again).

And the Higgs boson has a spin of 0. But that is (I think) related to the fact it is a scalar field.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Xechs said:

The term color charge and its seven colors

There are three colors in quantum chromodynamics (QCD).

1 hour ago, Xechs said:

It's harder to grasp this notion in a tristate model where each point of three have to combined to cancel each other out.

Colors don't cancel each other out. They cancel RGB = colorless. Or RG = anti-B, GB = anti-R, BR = anti-G. All observed QCD particles are colorless.

1 hour ago, Xechs said:

This happens in nature in the form of white light, three primary colors are added together to form white so

Don't take the analogy too seriously. Frequencies of light are a continuum, while QCD "colors" are discrete observables. To make it even more puzzling, you can't actually observe them directly, due to confinement. Plus there is no simple "anti-red" fotons, while there are anti-red gluons in some sense

1 hour ago, Xechs said:

Then it came to me, all of physical matter is comprised of three values; Height x Width x Length.

x, y, z are very different from color charge. Charges are internal (non-space time) and conserved. x, y, z are not conserved.

1 hour ago, Xechs said:

And coming around full circle, particles with three color charges or these dimensional energies create shapes that contain these energies into physical space. If you think of the two-charge force, or force carriers in general, they affect change in one of two ways, e.g. attraction or repulsion. A third action to this push/pull effect would be confinement or holding on to it. In this sense, physical matter confines these energies in one place instead of zipping off through the cosmos or back and forth in-between infinitely short distances.

You can't word physics and make sense of it with poetic phrases. Especially quantum physics. You need higher mathematics. And very sophisticated experiments on the other side. There's no way around it. E.g., energy is not "a point," it's an abstract quantity that we define when systems don't single out any particular time (are time-symmetric.) Experiments take care of checking that our definitions, deductions, and inductions are correct.

I applaud your enthusiasm to try to understand it all, but it's more complicated, and subtle, but equally mysterious and wonderful, or even more, than you try to suggest.

I hope I don't bother you or diminish your enthusiasm about physics. Physics is really wonderful and helps you understand a lot about the world around you. But it takes time, dedication... Imagination in straight jacket, as Feynman said.

Edited by joigus

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13 minutes ago, joigus said:

There are three colors in quantum chromodynamics (QCD).

I'm sorry, I should've clarified that point. I meant red, blue, green, the anti-s, and white when I said seven colors. But this brings up another question, do confined states always have either all RGB or all anti-RGB combinations? Or can they can a mixture of anti and regular?

17 minutes ago, joigus said:

Colors don't cancel each other out. They cancel RGB = colorless. Or RG = anti-B, GB = anti-R, BR = anti-G. All observed QCD particles are colorless.

Again I'm sorry, this was bad terminology on my part. I didn't mean the energies cancelling out but rather balancing out. Or would be better to describe it as the three energies finding neutral zone?

28 minutes ago, joigus said:

x, y, z are very different from color charge. Charges are internal (non-space time) and conserved. x, y, z are not conserved.

Can you elaborate on this a little more? What do you mean by x, y, z not being censerved? By charges being conserved do you mean they keep their specific color charge throughout their existence?

35 minutes ago, joigus said:

You can't word physics and make sense of it with poetic phrases. Especially quantum physics. You need higher mathematics. And very sophisticated experiments on the other side. There's no way around it. E.g., energy is not "a point," it's an abstract quantity that we define when systems don't single out any particular time (are time-symmetric.) Experiments take care of checking that our definitions, deductions, and inductions are correct.

I agree completely, the entire second part was basically some abstract thinking. I knew it was wrong but wanted to see how close to the truth it might have been. Thank you very much for your responses.

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1 minute ago, Xechs said:

I'm sorry, I should've clarified that point. I meant red, blue, green, the anti-s, and white when I said seven colors. But this brings up another question, do confined states always have either all RGB or all anti-RGB combinations? Or can they can a mixture of anti and regular?

Don't be sorry. It's OK. Confined particles are always white, yes. Well, quarks are perpetually changing color, with their gluons. It's not that confined particles are always white, it's more that aggregates of colored particles are always combine to white, and if you want to kick off a colored particle, it splits into white combinations again by creating particle-antiparticle pairs.

6 minutes ago, Xechs said:

I didn't mean the energies cancelling out but rather balancing out. Or would be better to describe it as the three energies finding neutral zone?

It's the charges that balance out (or cancel out,) not the energies. Energies of quarks and gluons add up to the mass of the proton, neutron, etc.

8 minutes ago, Xechs said:

Can you elaborate on this a little more? What do you mean by x, y, z not being censerved? By charges being conserved do you mean they keep their specific color charge throughout their existence?

Exactly. If a particle is at x, there's no reason for it not to be somewhere else some time later.

Charge is different. If a particle is white, it keeps being white or decays into red-antired, e.g. But then the products of decay immediately turn white again (because of confinement.) But you cannot have a particle with 1 unit of red charge turn into 2 red charge one second later.

There are more differences. So that's why I told you not to take the analogy too seriously. In fact, there's no analogy at all. "Color" is just a name for a type of charge.

14 minutes ago, Xechs said:

I agree completely, the entire second part was basically some abstract thinking. I knew it was wrong but wanted to see how close to the truth it might have been. Thank you very much for your responses.

You're very welcome. There's no reason why you can't get a reasonable understanding of QCD by reading popular science books or even some excellent books with some mathematics.

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57 minutes ago, Xechs said:

But this brings up another question, do confined states always have either all RGB or all anti-RGB combinations? Or can they can a mixture of anti and regular?

For a quark, I don’t see how you could have a mixture. For a meson, it’s color/anticolor

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14 minutes ago, swansont said:

For a quark, I don’t see how you could have a mixture. For a meson, it’s color/anticolor

Earlier when I mentioned seven colors joigus responded saying there were only three, the RGB values. I was including the anti colors and white, though I know white isn't a charge so I don't know why I was counting it. Regardless, when he said there were only three I was wondering if the colors/anticolors were interchangeable. As in, could you have a Green/Blue/Antired pairing? Or do they always have to be all RGB or all anti/RGB?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Xechs said:

Earlier when I mentioned seven colors joigus responded saying there were only three, the RGB values. I was including the anti colors and white, though I know white isn't a charge so I don't know why I was counting it. Regardless, when he said there were only three I was wondering if the colors/anticolors were interchangeable. As in, could you have a Green/Blue/Antired pairing? Or do they always have to be all RGB or all anti/RGB?

Well, white is a charge. It's what in QCD plays the role of zero charge in electrodynamics. The complication with QCD, if you wish, is that there are more ways to obtain zero charge: red-antired, green-antigreen, blue-antiblue, red-green-blue, antired-antigreen-antiblue, and more complicated but higher order combinations.

As Swansont said, color-anticolor are mesons (lighter particles that decay very quickly,) and RGB things are baryons (heavier particles like proton and neutron, some stable, some ephemeral.)

OK. Let's call anti-something by crossing them out. Like G would be anti-green.

You could hit a nucleus with something hard, like an energetic proton, or a meson, and kick off some GBR piece from it. But it wouldn't last long in that colored state. What remains in the nucleus (because the nucleus is white) would be anti-GBR = RR. They would start pulling from each other like crazy, so you would generate a lot of energy in gluon lines going from one to the other trying to "equilibrate the color imbalance" let's say (I'm not being very precise,) up to the point that antiparticle pairs would appear "closing the lines," and turning the colored particles that escape into white particles again.

I can't find a useful diagram for you to picture it. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe someone can provide it.

The whole thing is even more complicated, because these colors are quantum numbers, so they're not even determined. They're constantly rotating in a space with three references R, G, B, but never quite being pure R, G or B. It's sort of like a dynamical rotation in the color space. Again, very imprecise, but I'm trying to explain as best I can.

2 hours ago, swansont said:

For a quark, I don’t see how you could have a mixture. For a meson, it’s color/anticolor

Swansont is totally right. A single quark would have to choose one color. But then again there are no "single quarks." Quarks in nucleons (protons and neutrons) are constantly rotating their colors by exchanging gluons, which are exchanging their colors among them!!! QCD is totally crazily complicated. Highly non-linear, which means even the interaction particles interact with each other. How do they do it? with other gluons that also interact with each other...

Only quarks I can think of that were flying about with single colors must have been those that were doing so when the universe had a temperature TQCD (a very very high temperature.)

It's crazily, crazily complicated. I hope it's clear that QCD colors are nothing like the ordinary concept of color!!!

Edited by joigus

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1 hour ago, Xechs said:

Earlier when I mentioned seven colors joigus responded saying there were only three, the RGB values. I was including the anti colors and white, though I know white isn't a charge so I don't know why I was counting it. Regardless, when he said there were only three I was wondering if the colors/anticolors were interchangeable. As in, could you have a Green/Blue/Antired pairing? Or do they always have to be all RGB or all anti/RGB?

A Green/Blue/Antired pairing does not get you to white. As I said, I don’t see how you get there mixed that way.

(I just noted I didn’t clarify for a three quark system earlier; that was inadvertently omitted).

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