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Want facts and want them fast? Our Maths in a minute series explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words.
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Is it possible to write unique music with the limited quantity of notes and chords available? We ask musician Oli Freke!
How can maths help to understand the Southern Ocean, a vital component of the Earth's climate system?
Was the mathematical modelling projecting the course of the pandemic too pessimistic, or were the projections justified? Matt Keeling tells our colleagues from SBIDER about the COVID models that fed into public policy.
PhD student Daniel Kreuter tells us about his work on the BloodCounts! project, which uses maths to make optimal use of the billions of blood tests performed every year around the globe.
" As I understand it, electrons consist mostly of energy and the top quark mostly of mass" Not really. Both possess mass, and both are made of matter-energy, as are all things. 'Mostly made of mass' and 'mostly made of energy' don't make sense as concepts.
" Do protons, electrons and neutrons exist on their own or do they only exist in the nucleus of an atom?" Yes, easily. Electrons are free from atoms when they are conducting charge moving through a wire, and a 'proton accelerator' uses free protons.
"can a proton or neutron pass through the Higgs field and acquire mass, or is this the theory of how they DO acquire mass?" This is how everything acquires mass, but it's not 'passing through' the Higss field, we are all immersed in it all the time.
"Do they not have mass before they go through the HF?" Faulty question: the Higgs field is everywhere. It's a bit like asking if a fish was dry before it went in the sea for the first time.
" Are the protons that are found in the nucleus of an oxygen atom the same as the protons found in the nucleus of a carbon atom, for instance?" Yes, all protons are identical.
"Is it this "atomic mass" that is referred to when scientists speak of the mass of a particle?" Yes.
You could have looked all these up on wiki; as I understand it this page is for questions that don't really have firm answers.