Elementary Particles - A Paper Band Model
Assuming you can't afford to build your own Large Hadron Collider to study elementary particles here's a low cost alternative.
Take a strip of paper, join the ends so you have a band. Let's use this as a model for a spin 0 particle.
Now give the band 1 half twist before joining the ends. This is a model for a spin 1/2 particle. Does a half twist clockwise give the same exact band as a half twist counter clockwise, or are these two bands different objects? If they are different objects then what's the physics interpretation of the clockwise v. counter clockwise twist?
Now give it 2 half twists before joining the ends. This is a model for a spin 1 particle. Same question, does 2 half twists clockwise give the same exact band as 2 half twists counter clockwise, or are these two bands different objects?
But things get strange fast..
Give the band 4 half twists before joining the ends. This is a model for a spin 2 particle. The only one known is the hypothetical graviton. Now, if you play around with this thing for a while it will suddenly "flip" into a double thickness band with 1 half twist! Does this imply that a graviton (spin 2) can transform into a spin 1/2 particle. Assuming charge is conserved, this spin 1/2 particle must be neutral and that means a neutrino or some other as yet unknown neutral spin 1/2 particle. So Gravitons can "flip" into neutrinos?
Not only that, but this also means Boson <-> Fermion transitions are possible, and that violates the conservation of angular momentum. Most physicists will hate that.
What about a collision between two bands?
At low energy they might just "bounce" off each other.
At higher energy they might "stick" along their surfaces or edges.
At even higher energy they might "break open" and then reconnect to form something totally new.
Content written and posted by Ken Abbott email@example.com