Serious questions

“Mom, photons violate E = mc²  and gluons violate E = mc²!” – Simon shouts, but what about the w and z bosons? He writes down the masses of the w and z bosons expressed in gigaelectronvolts per speed of light squared. If these bosons don’t violate E = mc², he argues, their energy levels would actually equal their mass, as the speed of light squared would cancel out. “I think my hypothesis is false, because it breaks the law of conservation of energy”, he mumbles. The question remains unanswered.

Correction: the actual mass of a w boson is 80.385±0.015 GeV/c2, Simon made a small mistake, as he found out later.



“Mom, a neutrino passing by a neutron, in order for the neutron to decay, the neutrino has to be really close to the neutron because the lives of the w and z bosons are only 6 x 10^-25 seconds!” Simon is walking around screaming: “zero, zero,zero,zero”, actually saying the life expectancy of a boson out loud: 0.0000000000000000000000006 seconds.  “And these bosons do have mass! they just wander into the neutron with a very low chance of actually hitting the neutron (they don’t go in a straight line like photons)!”

I believe Simon has started asking serious questions… Thinking maybe it’s about time to sign him up for some online college course in Physics? Any MOOC suggestions?


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