Mass Types & The Ultraviolet Catastrophe

In this post, I identify and discuss the different types of mass that must exist in particles and in quantum fields. The post is based on The UP Hypothesis, which I introduced in a previous post and its follow-up, Quantum Gyroscopes. In those posts, I defined various phenomenon in line with that hypothesis and explained how stable matter particles and their quantum fields form from elements of the fabric of space, which are referred to as Universal Particles (UPs). Therefore, understanding the contents of the two previous posts is essential to understanding this one.

In quantum field theories, particles are considered to arise from their quantum fields as field quanta. For example, the photon is considered the quanta of the electromagnetic field. In effect, a particle represents a localized effect in its quantum field, which is described in some gauge theories as a perturbation. This description does not apply to particles mediating the strong force, because the theory could not be extended to them. The reason, according to the UP hypothesis, is that those particles are almost detached from the surrounding medium and behaviour as independent structures, though they interact with the fabric of space to produce quantum fields.

Quantum field theories do not define quantum fields in any physical terms, nor they explain how quantum field arise in space. Theoretically however, and except for fields of particles mediating the strong force, they could be defined as quantum harmonic oscillators, which are essentially oscillating theoretical points representing phase space. Each point defines a location that has no spatial dimensions—i.e., it occupies zero volume in the background space. In contrast, the UP hypothesis defines those oscillators as real physical entities (UPs), each occupying a finite volume in the background vacuum. However, as well as oscillating, UPs translate across space as a field and relative to one another. Therefore, the oscillation of an UP is incomplete and cannot be described as harmonic. Although it may not be immediately apparent at this stage, the motion of an UP in a quantum field is analogous to that of an accelerating charged particle.[i]

Clearly, the description of particles based on the UP hypothesis agrees fundamentally with that of quantum theory, because particles develop from and exist in quantum fields as localized dynamics structures. However, rather than fields giving rise to particles, the hypothesis advocate the concept of particles producing quantum fields. Nevertheless, for a particle to form, it requires a perturbation in the fabric of space, which is essentially a quantum field. The argument of what came first is therefore one of a chicken-and-egg situation!

Since UPs are identical entities forming an isotropic medium defining space and its geometry, their absence from a volume of the background vacuum renders that volume indefinable, physically and mathematically. In effect, each such a volume represents a singularity within the global space-time it occupies and could be defined only theoretically as a timeless subspace, and as such it could theoretically have any number of spatial dimensions, though it will have no time dimension unless the elements defining it are assigned a certain frequency of oscillation. Alternatively, the singularity is treated as an object. This definition of space has direct implication on understanding the extra dimensions demanded by string theory.

Since the hypothesis defines mass as the exposed background vacuum in the fabric of space, mass must be indefinable subspace. Therefore, any structure that develops mass is considered to contain a singularity, e.g. matter particles and black holes, though in the case of black holes the mass distribution is different from that of matter particles and is not considered in this post. Its development, the mechanism that maintains it and its implication on the development of the surrounding space-time are beyond the scope of this post.

Based on the UP hypothesis, we can identify and define six types of mass, three of which are associated with different types of particles, two with quantum fields and one with black holes. This latter, as I have already mentioned is not considered here.

In discussing those types of mass, I shall use the same reference for particle as the classification adopted by the standard model:

Baryonic and Lepontic mass: This is a particle mass generated by the spin of a string element forming a baryon such as a neutron, a proton and their antiparticles, and the electrons, other leptons and their antiparticles. This type of mass has a pin number (1/2), because the string element divides the mass into two halves symmetrically to either side of the string. The direction of spin of a string element within the mass defines the particle as a matter or an antimatter particle. It should be noted that the type of mass produced by baryons and leptons alike is gravitational, because string elements forming the mass also develop a magnetic field, which when crossed by other particles, they experience a force the nature of which depends upon the particle’s polarity. For more on gravity and magnetic field effects refer to my post title The UP Hypothesis.

Although the Standard Model proposes that baryons consist of other particles, namely quarks, according to the UP hypothesis, quarks are only theorized to exist because of the observed outcome of energetic particle collisions that cause the collapse of mass of baryons and leptons, which are the only stable elementary particles. Other observed particles do not exist as independent entities in time, they are transitional stages in the formation of stable particles.

The strongest evidence for the existence of quarks in baryons is the high-energy annihilation of electrons and positrons, which is observed to produce pairs of heavier particles as muon-antimuon or quark-antiquark, which in turn decay to hadrons. In fact, it is often mentioned that an isolated quark has never been observed. The reason given is that the strong confinement under which they exist and which is mediated by gluons. However, the reality is that they do not exist except in theory to explain the reason behind the difference in mass charge between the neutron and the proton. For more on this topic refer to my post title Gravity and the Standard Model.

Bosonic Mass: This type of mass is generated by W and Z bosons, which are considered carriers of the weak force, which is responsible for nuclear decay. Whilst the W boson is a charged particle and can have either negative or positive charge, the Z boson is a neutral. In the standard model, those particles cause nuclear decay by mediating the weak force. For example, in the negative beta decay, when a neutron in a nucleus decays to a proton, an electron and an antineutrino [n0 →  p+ + e + νe], it is believed that one down quark changes flavour to an up quark and produces W boson[d → u + W]. The boson then decays to an electron and an antineutrino [W → e + νe].

The argument, in line with the UP hypothesis, for the reason behind the negative beta decay is when the nucleus of an isotope acquires more than two neutrons adjoining one another in a stack. Then, it becomes possible for a neutron sandwiched between two others to form a charge, which in turn forms an electron and the electron’s charge forms an antineutrino – refer to my previous post titled Quantum Gyroscopes.

According to the UP hypothesis, all exposed background vacuum represents mass and as such, any exposed volume of the background represents a particle. However, the only stable particles are those in which the electric charge is maintained by a string element the size of which depends upon the prevailing universal pressure conditions. The W and Z bosons are produce in particles accelerators and they have extremely short life, because they are unstable structures that are forced into existence by powerful collisions. This does not mean that magnitude mass does not exist in nature. It does, but it is associated with extremely high temperatures (high amplitude of oscillating UPs), as I shall explain shortly.

Therefore, in particle collisions, a charged boson having an electric charge can only develop as a nucleon or a lepton that has lost its string element due to energetic collision with another particle. As such it appears to have a much greater mass, but it immediately decays to other much smaller particles that acquire string elements and continue to exist as stable particles or vanish as highly-energy photons. In fact, one can argue and rightly as, if those bosons are responsible for nuclear decay at low temperatures, what happens to the excess mass left over after the decay is complete? The mass of the W boson is almost 100 times greater than that of the proton, yet somehow most of that mass is assumed to vanish accounted for!

Based on this proposition, a Z boson could only develop through the collision of two opposite polarity particles or the bombardment of neutrons with other neutral particle to dislodge the string element from within its mass. In the former cases, the two charges destroy one another, while the strings and quantum field terminate the motion of one another, leaving a large unsupported mass, which decays immediately to smaller particles. Due to the inherent symmetry of the medium, the particles that appear as by product of the decay are either neutral or carry opposite charges.

Electromagnetic or photonic mass: is the mass generated by the collapse of impulse waves caused by the spin of the electric charge, which are distinguished as energy packets (photons) and described as wave-particles. When a photon rebounds after collapsing on a quantum structure, it exposes a volume of the background vacuum (mass) proportional to its wavelength. As the photon propagates, the mass it has created is distributed as increased amplitude of oscillation of the surrounding UPs, hence the relationship photon energy and temperature. This explains the dependency of the photoelectric effect on photon energy, but not on intensity, which reflect the number of photons over a unit area.

Photons are considered to have quantum spin (1), though they do not have quantum spin at all. The reason they are allocated spin (1) despite having no spin momentum is because of their effect on the angular momentum of atoms when absorbed. When an atom absorbs a photon, its angular momentum increases. However, the increase in angular momentum in such situations is the result of changing the electron orbit. It is not the result of the angular momentum from the photon. Photons have no spin, carry no charge and therefore have spin (0).

However, in the magnetic fields of particles, they tend to acquire spin due to the increased angular motion of UPs with increased approach to the charge. In effect, a photons experiences greater gravitational effect as it enters the magnetic field of a charged particle than it does in the field of a neutral one. In fact, when it enters the magnetic field of a neutral particle, such as the neutron, it may not scatter. It passes through, because the field is so weak due to lack of charge.

Clearly, electromagnetic mass is non-gravitational and its value is a function of the wave length of the photons inducing it, so that the smaller the wavelength, the greater the mass, but up to a limit. That limit marks what is termed the ultra violet catastrophe. The reason that limit exists is that the wave length of a photon is a function of the number of UPs it contains, so that the greater the wave length, the greater the number of UPs. Considering extreme values, if that number of UPs in a wave is infinite, the wave length is infinite and as such it exposes no background vacuum— i.e., it does not produce mass, and as such it cannot do work. On the other hand, if the wave length is zero, it has no UPs and the wave does not materialize in space.

Therefore, there is a limit at which UPs no longer act as a medium to support impulse waves because of their extremely high amplitude (temperature). That limit represents the upper limit for supporting photons in the medium and is referred to as ultraviolet catastrophe. From then on, the amplitude of oscillation of UPs may continue to rise, as the thermal mass, which I shall consider shortly, increases and becomes equal in magnitude to the mass of the weak force bosons, at which point the two forces become indistinguishable. This explains the apparent unification of the weak and electromagnetic forces into the electroweak force at high temperature.

Thermal mass: This type of mass is generated in the fabric of space as the background vacuum exposed by the oscillation of UP’s. It is non-gravitational mass, which is a function of the amplitude of oscillation of UPs (temperature). Therefore, the greater the temperature in a quantum field, the greater the mass of that field.

This mass should not be confused with photonic mass discussed above, though it is directly related to it, because the collapse of photons cause increase in the amplitude of oscillation of the UP’s involved in the collapse of the photon as a wave. Thus, in a given quantum field, UPs oscillate with a given amplitude and revealing a certain volume of the background vacuum, as well as containing collapsing photons on some quantum structures.

Permeability mass: The last type of mass I am considering here is inherent in the fabric of space due to the spherical geometry of UPs. It is effectively the voids between UPs in a state when they do not oscillate— i.e., when they have no amplitude and thus temperature in the field is absolute zero. This of course is none gravitational mass, but it counts for 48% of the mass in space. It is non-gravitational and undetectable and adds significantly to the magnitude of dark matter at galactic level.

Based on the above consideration of the different types of mass, stable matter particles maybe defined as dynamic structures, the mechanics of which produces mass (exposed background vacuum) in combination of gravitational and non-gravitational types in the fabric of space. On this account, mass density of matter represents the ratio of the net volume of exposed background vacuum (mass) in a given volume of matter, to the overall volume of space that the mass occupies.


[i] In classical electrodynamics, an accelerating charged particle becomes subject to variable acceleration, the rate of which is termed jerk. The accepted interpretation is that the particles are subject to self-induced force, referred to as the Abraham-Lorentz force or the radiation reaction force, which is a reaction to emitted electromagnetic radiation.

The UP Hypothesis

In this post, I outline a hypothesis which describes physical reality in terms of the behaviour of the fabric of space and the interaction of its constituents. It is not a theory that attempts to model a specific phenomenon or replace an existing theory. It is a hypothesis that gives physical significance to all existing theories in physics and in mathematics.

In physics, it rationalises phenomena such as matter, energy, mass, forces, electric charge, quantum field, quantum spin, etc. and defines them in independent physical terms. As such, it reveals the reason behind the apparent conflict between classical and quantum mechanics and explains in full details the working of the atom as a coherent physical system. Consequently, it introduces a conceptual relationship between mass and energy and removes all myths from quantum theory. In full agreement with all major theories, the hypothesis explains the need for the extra dimensions demanded by string theory.

In mathematics, the hypothesis exposes a link between physical phenomena and their mathematical models and eliminates wrong assumptions held as axioms on which geometric modelling is based. Thus, it explains the reality behind irrational and complex numbers and reveals the power and limitation of mathematics as an input language for information processing systems, including the human brain.

The hypothesis is simple enough for anyone to understand. However, its implications for explaining physical reality are far reaching. With good understanding of mechanics, the hypothesis can be used to explain all physical phenomena from the smallest of subatomic particles to the largest of galactic clusters. In fact, the existence of all such phenomena is demanded by the hypothesis.

The hypothesis states: Continue reading “The UP Hypothesis”