Andrew Magdy Kamal

Founder & CEO, AndSocialREW

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The Idea that the average life of a proton is impossible to calculate

According to the Grand Unified Theory in Physics, protons are unstable. This means that it is nearly impossible to calculate the lifetime of a proton. It can last any time from 1 second to a trillion years. No matter how you wait and wait it is nearly impossible to catch the lifetime of a proton. Also, my theory is that sense all protons are unstable and they differ in amount on what point of object and element they are located, then they are almost all different in lifespan also, making it inaccurate to calculate or even guess the age of a single proton, and if you did it would still be impossible to get a fully scientific analysis of the average lifetime of a proton.

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    Mar 12 2013: Hi, Andrew. George's suggestion that you post your question also where there are real scientists or experts in physics active is a good one. TED Conversations is very much not an assembly of experts, particularly in this area, and ideas and assertions about physics and about what science/scientists say are often very wrong.

    So keep this in mind, and also ask your question on a science site where real scientists converge! The American Physical Society is a good place to start. Another possibility is that your local university has a society of physics students who will bring informed views to your question.
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    Mar 17 2013: Wait! There is a Grand Unified Theory? Where can I get a copy?
  • Mar 15 2013: yes we are primitive i have no doubt the ability to accurately judge the age of protons will eventually become reality
  • Mar 13 2013: I thought of you when I was watching the Big Bang Theory. Most positively - one of the characters echoed George Gamow's book Thirty Years That Shook Physics. I am not sure that nothing fundamentally exciting has happened in physics since PAM Dirac's paper on antimatter in 1930, but it's a thought. Okay - I hit a wall when I was a physics grad student, but some of my favorite profs at my undergraduate students had done work in elementary particle physics and wished they had studied other areas. One in fact was teaching computer science. As I noted earlier some physicists are best known for work in areas outside physics. Watson or Crick is an example. The physics honor society Sigma Pi Sigma keeps track of this. My concern about your question was while it seemed just like an apriori statement, it wasn't actually. As the others have noted this seems somewhat our there. The problem with truly rarefied knowledge or even senior level courses is if you don't use it , you lose it.
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    Mar 12 2013: "A proton is a nuclear family of two "up" quarks and a "down" quark. If you look inside you see all kinds of mess. But left on their own they don't split up for at least 10^29 or so years. Given the universe seems to be about 1.4 x 10^10 years old, that means the lifetime of your average proton is 1,400,000,000,000,000,000,000 longer than the age of the universe."
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/life-and-physics/2011/mar/26/1#start-of-comments
    The idea is interesting but I don't think it's unique. There is currently no experimental evidence that proton decay occurs. GUTs explicitly break the baryon number symmetry, allowing protons to decay via the Higgs particle, magnetic monopoles or new X bosons. Proton decay is one of the few observable effects of the various proposed GUTs. To date, all attempts to observe these events have failed.
    If evidence is the key to scientific truth, we have to wait and your statement becomes trivial.
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    Mar 12 2013: This is my latest conversation, tell me what you think
  • Mar 12 2013: Maybe you need to talk to a PhD? I wonder about the significance of you question if any. Marilyn vos Savant made a probability mistake several years ago in her column. Personnally I think she is a wonderful intelligent person as is her husband. I am sure she has a wonderful life. However, when you are outside your field there are always little areas of confusion. You seem a smart guy and follow your bliss. Different areas are interesting at different times. I am not sure this is a great time for physics. Also, if you want to be a professor or a teacher there are areas with better job prospects. E.O. Wilson had one of the most interesting TED talks I've heard recently. Biology and related fields seem to be hot spots. Who also doesn't find Poincare, Minkowski, and van Neuman interesting? Deming and Ed Thorpe have done many interesting things using their mathematical skills although they both had PhD's in physics. Among popular writers I find few more interesting than Taleb. If you don't already have your bachelors, maybe a double major math/physics would be good. That's what Arthur C. Clarke did.