Elementary Particles & Paper Strips

Elementary Particles & Paper Strips

I was wondering if a spin 1/2 elementary particle could be modeled with an everyday object. After a bit of thought I decided on a Mobius strip (strip of paper joined after applying 1 half turn). I figured 1 half turn = spin 1/2.

Then I made a strip with 4 half turns and discovered something elegant.. it will naturally "flip" into a double thickness Mobius strip.

In other words a strip with 4 half turns (spin 2) naturally flips into a strip with 1 half turn (spin 1/2).

That's a Boson to Fermion transition. Think of space time (a Boson spin 2 structure) "condensing" into spin 1/2 Fermions.

It explains why every elementary matter particle has spin 1/2. They have no choice!

This led me to conjecture Spin Inversion Symmetry. It says every elementary particle in the Standard Model (except for the Higgs) of spin s has a partner of spin 1/s. It also applies to the hypothetical Graviton.

So there you have it - the quantum mechanics of paper strips, and all you need is paper, scissors, a touch of glue, and a vivid imagination!

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com