So I'm back again, though I forgot my username and password so I had to make a new account.. that's not the question though. Anyhow! - I started thinking about the nucleus after reading about the island of stability and onwards about the shell model and thinking "what a bunch of bollocks - I could do that better myself! I'm making me my own model of the nucleus"
Problem is, I can't do it better myself (obviously), but it's nice to just keep the brain spinning sometimes. Let me set the stage and tell you what led me to this question:
I was thinking rather naively (like no-one else had thought about it) to simulate the nucleus as a cluster of balls (since I was thinking protons and neutrons are after all rather partically particles), attracting each other through the strong nuclear force and repelling each other through the electric force and just watch how they arranged themselves and at what sort of numbers and combinations of "protons" and "neutrons" the whole thing got unstable. However...
Then I started thinking about what exactly makes a proton and a neutron and how the heck those little guys interact and I suppose this is exactly where I run amock since I know basically nil about it in detail. The quarks in a nucleon pass them little gluons between them as force-carriers. ("rubber-band" force if you will I suppose, not affecting each other a whole lot while near each other but then tuggin the leash if one tries to run away?). This all good and well.. I imagine one could imagine a nucleon almost like a .. vibrating/rotating triangle with a quark in each corner.. I might be stretching it a bit here..
So.. damnit I really wish I had a picture.. ill have to coordinate-systemitise it to you.. U(x,y) marks an up-quark at (x,y) etc.. so:
you have a proton with U(0,0),U(3,2),D(3,-2) and a neutron with D(-1,2),D(-1,-2),U(-4,0). Drawing this on a paper might help visualise it.
How come (or does it??), a new neutron doesnt form spontaneously from D(-1,2),D(-1,-2),U(0,0) ? (also forming a new proton from the rest of the quarkies, if you imagine adding a third dimension to the coordinate-system and allowing the remaining quarks to be closer to each other too) Why doesnt gluons just straight up pass between nucleons like that? (where the hell does them mesons come from and how does the three quarks in the nucleon know that it's those other two that is it's buddies and not that other fine quarks "over there" it should bond with?) - which leads me to my actual question (I think): how come quarks arnt free to roam about the nucleus as long as they stay within, say, a proton diameter of atleast two other suitable quarks? (considering color and all that good stuff) Another way of asking this question is - "does quarks wander between nucleons in a nucleus, forming and re-forming protons and neutrons as they do so"? (I'm thinking "no" because I cant really picture why a nucleus would be more or less stable this way but it would seem as if though it would be just a blob of quark chaos). (which would also jiggle the electric field in the nucleus around and messing with the electrons etc... just a thought.. like some.. intra-van-deer-waals effect)
An additional question I was thinking about is this. can neutrons and protons pass through one another (proton/neutron and neutron/neutron collision) - or more precisely - can they bounce off of one another?! how can a bunch of quarks interact like that and make a bunch of other quarks bounce like so?
I dont doubt for a second that the answer to all these questions lie to find within the QCD.. I dont feel that I have the patience or know-how to learn that in a reasonable time-frame, so I'm trying to condense.. squeeze.. the information out of all you guys.
damn quarks ruined my model of the nucleus We really do have to get rid of all this wave/particle-duality stuff too, it's no fun.