Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brown University Physicist Proposes That Electron May Be Split In Two

Date:
August 18, 2000
Source:
Brown University
Summary:
Brown professor of physics and engineering Humphrey Maris proposes that it is possible to split the electron. A paper describing the theory appears in the Aug. 1 Journal of Low Temperature Physics. Maris presented his research at the International Conference on Quantum Fluids and Solids, held in June at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — In a paper published today (Aug. 1) in the Journal of Low Temperature Physics, Humphrey Maris, professor of physics at Brown University, proposes that under suitable conditions electrons can undergo a form of fission. He has also discovered there is a significant amount of experimental evidence supporting his theory.

Physicists consider that matter in the world is composed of a large number of elementary particles. Some of these particles, such as the electron and the proton, carry an electric charge, while others, including the neutron and neutrino, are electrically neutral. Although some elementary particles can decay into other particles, it has been regarded as a general principle of physics that an elementary particle cannot be broken into two pieces. Thus, for example, although a neutron can decay into a proton plus an electron and a neutrino, it can never be broken into two half neutrons.

According to quantum theory, the state of a particle is described as its wave function. The probability that the particle will be found in any position is proportional to the square of the wave function at that point in space. Maris’ theory considers what happens to electrons when they are immersed in liquid helium at a temperature of one degree above absolute zero. Previous experiments have shown that an electron in helium becomes trapped in a bubble approximately 100-billionths of an inch in diameter. The bubble drifts through the liquid with the wave function of the electron confined inside it.

Maris shows that when the bubble is illuminated with infrared light, the bubble can divide into two smaller bubbles each containing a part of the wave function of the electron. These two bubbles can then move independently through the liquid and become separated from each other.

In the 1970s, researchers at Bell Laboratories and the University of Michigan performed experiments on the effect of light on electrons in liquid helium. These researchers were unable to explain their surprising results. Maris realized that these old experiments, together with more recent measurements made at the University of Lancaster, could be understood in terms of his theory and provided support for his ideas.

Further experiments to test the theory are under way at Brown University in work supported by the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brown University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Brown University. "Brown University Physicist Proposes That Electron May Be Split In Two." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000817080822.htm>.
Brown University. (2000, August 18). Brown University Physicist Proposes That Electron May Be Split In Two. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000817080822.htm
Brown University. "Brown University Physicist Proposes That Electron May Be Split In Two." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000817080822.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins