Thursday, October 30, 2008

Some Quanta/Packets of Matter/Energy

An atom was named that way assuming that it was non-divisible into smaller units. But because of the growth of scientific geniuses, techniques and technologies, atoms were found to be divisible into the constituents like protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons and neutrons were also found to be composite particles themselves, formed out of quarks. Still we can consider them as units or quanta of matter/ energy, in fact matter is equaivalent to energy (E = mc^2). Here are some units of matter and energy:
(1) Proton - A constituent of an atomic nucleus with one unit positive (+1e) charge. (2) Electron - A constituent of an atom with one unit negative (-1e) charge. (3) Photon - A quantum of light/energy ( hf , h being planck's constant and f bing the frequency of radiation). (4) Phonon - A quantized mode of vibration occurring in a rigid crystal lattice, such as the atomic lattice of a solid (5) Gluon - An elementary particle that causes quarks to interact, and is indirectly responsible for the binding of protons and neutrons together in atomic nuclei. (6) Exciton - A quasiparticle formed by the combination of an electron and a positive hole which is free to move through a nonmetallic crystal as a unit. (7) Plasmon - A quasiparticle resulting from the quantization of plasma oscillations (8) Doppleron - A quantum of energy or momentum emitted or absorbed in the processes regarding the Doppler effect for atoms in the standing light wave. (9) Polaron - A quasiparticle composed of an electron and its accompanying polarization field. (10) Graviton - A postulated quantum that is thought to be the carrier of the gravitational field. (11) Magnon - A quasiparticle carrying a fixed amount of energy and lattice momentum, can be viewed as a quantized spin wave. (12) Tachyon - A hypothetical particle that travels at superluminal speed (>c) , first proposed by Arnold Sommerfeld. (13) Polariton - A quasiparticle resulting from strong coupling of electromagnetic waves with an electric or magnetic dipole-carrying excitation. (14) Ion - An ion is an atom or molecule which has lost (cation) or gained (anion) one or more valence electrons, giving it a positive or negative electrical charge.

Note: This was first written by me in THE NPS GOOGLE GROUP in May 06, 2008.

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