How big is Lengths shorter than this are not confirmed.?

Have you ever wondered how small things can get? How about the smallest thing that humans have ever directly measured? It’s a mind-boggling scale, far smaller than any object we see in our daily lives. This tiny length is about 10^-18 meters, a size measured at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider.

To really understand how small this length is, let’s make some comparisons:

- A human hair is about 100,000 nanometers thick. One nanometer is 10^-9 meters. So, this measured length is a billion times smaller than a human hair!
- A sheet of paper is about 100,000 atoms thick. If an atom were enlarged to the size of an entire football field, this measured length would still be smaller than a blade of grass on that field.
- The smallest thing visible to the naked eye is about 0.1 millimeters, which is 10^-4 meters. This means the measured length is a ten quadrillion times smaller!

You might be asking, “How can we measure something so incredibly small?” The answer lies in the power of the Large Hadron Collider and the principles of quantum physics. In the collider, scientists study phenomena at incredibly small scales by relating the length of these phenomena to the energy of the collision. They use the equation Δ𝑥≈ℎ𝑐𝐸, where ℎ is Planck’s constant, 𝑐 is the speed of light, and 𝐸 is the collision energy. The collision energy at the Large Hadron Collider is around 1012 eV, which is the total energy of the colliding protons. By feeding these values into the equation, scientists arrived at a value for Δ𝑥 of around 10^-18 meters. This is not just a theoretical calculation – it represents a real, measurable length.

This tiny measurement has big implications for our understanding of the universe. For instance, it helps us determine whether a quark (a type of elementary particle) is a fundamental or composite particle. If a quark were composite, its size would be greater than 10^-18 meters. However, because we haven’t seen evidence of this at the Large Hadron Collider, we can conclude that if quarks are composite particles, their size must be less than this measured length.

The world of the ultra-small is fascinating and complex, with measurements at scales far beyond our everyday experience. The smallest length ever directly measured – 10^-18 meters – is a testament to the power of human ingenuity and the incredible precision of modern physics. It reminds us that there is so much more to the universe than meets the eye, with mysteries that we are only just beginning to unravel.

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Range of the Weak Force

The weak force is one of the four fundamental forces of nature, and is the weaker of the two nuclear forces. As distance increases, its strength decreases. At just 10 attometers, the weak force is so weak it is unmeasurable.

High-Energy Neutrino

Neutrinos of higher energy are larger. For more about neutrinos, go to Neutrino, which shows the average size. It's a whopping 15,000 times smaller!

Up Quark

There are six flavors of quarks. They are up, down, strange, charm, top, and bottom. The smaller a quark is, the more mass it has. As a result, the up and down quarks are actually the lightest of the quarks. This up quark has a charge of +2/3.

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Neutron

Neutrons are found within an atom's nucleus. They are thousands of times smaller than the atom itself. They have two down quarks and one up quark. Therefore, the neutron's charge is -1/3-1/3+2/3 = 0.

Proton

Protons are found within an atom's nucleus. They are thousands of times smaller than the atom itself. They have two up quarks and one down quark. Therefore, the proton's charge is +2/3+2/3-1/3 = +1.

Helium Nucleus

The helium nucleus is thousands of times smaller than the atom, like a marble in a football field. The only reason matter feels solid is because atoms repel. If atoms didn't repel, everything would fall through each other!