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An international group of physicists has revealed its plans to test a hypothesis regarding protons that is considered “sacrilegious”. It is about protons being among the basic building blocks of life. Such a thing makes one wonder if they would convince people to rewrite books of science if these physicists are successful in proving otherwise. The tests have begun in the U.S. and are meant to show that the proton structure has a tendency of changing within the nucleus of atoms under some specific conditions. In case the experiments do prove the point, they will surely need reassessment after that.
Anthony Thomas at the University of Adelaide believes that the concept of internal structure of a proton undergoing some transformation under particular conditions can be deemed outrageous by lots of scientists. Personally, Thomas falls in the other group and believes that this would help prove the inconsistencies in theoretical physics. The question is, what implications would the possibility of protons changing their structures have? It does not seem like it would mean too much in our daily lives. However, it means a lot to fields of nuclear as well as theoretical physics. In order to understand this, people might want to develop an understanding of the structure of protons to begin with.
Even though they are considered some of the smallest building blocks of life, protons comprise tinier particles termed quarks that maintain their structure as a result of gluons. We believe that protons with the nucleus of an atom boast the same structure as that of free protons. However, we can not carry the same assumption and stretch it to quantum chromodynamics. Infact, that one describes how gluons and quarks interact with one another. Protons within the nucleus of an atom must go through changes under particular levels of energy if that theory was to be applied.
To date, nobody has been able to test the accuracy of this theory. However, that might soon change as a result of the fresh equipment at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility based in Virginia. Thomas mentioned that one can actually measure the difference in energy of electrons upon firing a beam of electrons at the nucleus. As a result, one can form solid opinion on what the result of the tests may be. With the help of his team, Thomas has already published the prediction of the tests in Physical Review Letters.