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the shape of protons


This article from the New York Times talks about recent delvings into the "shape" of protons:

Ask four physicists a seemingly simple question Is a proton round? and these might be their responses:

Yes.

No.

The first two answers are both correct.

What do you mean by "round"?

Heh. Us humans and our tendency to put things into arbitrary categories such as "round". Quantum mechanics showed us a while ago that doesn't really work (although, of course, it's immensely useful in many circumstances--it's just that interpretation doesn't necessarily say anything about the underlying reality).

Categories: science
Posted by diego on May 6 2003 at 6:16 PM

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