Planck particle

A Planck particle, named after physicist Max Planck, is a hypothetical particle defined as a tiny black hole whose Compton wavelength is equal to its Schwarzschild radius.[1] Its mass is thus approximately the Planck mass, and its Compton wavelength and Schwarzschild radius are about the Planck length.[2] Planck particles are sometimes used as an exercise to define the Planck mass and Planck length.[3] They play a role in some models of the evolution of the universe during the Planck epoch.[4]

Compared to a proton, for example, the Planck particle would be extremely small (its radius being equal to the Planck length, which is about 10−20 times the proton's radius) and massive (the Planck mass being 1019 times the proton's mass).[5] The Planck particle would also have a very fleeting existence, evaporating due to Hawking radiation after approximately 5×10−39 seconds.


While opinions vary as to its proper definition, the most common definition of a Planck particle is a particle whose Compton wavelength is equal to its Schwarzschild radius. This sets the relationship:

Thus making the mass of such a particle:

This mass will be times larger than the Planck mass, making a Planck particle 1.772 times more massive than the Planck unit mass.

Its radius will be the Compton wavelength:

The Planck length P is defined as


Using the above derivations we can substitute the universal constants h, G, and c, and determine physical values for the particle's mass and radius. Assuming this radius represents a sphere of uniform density, we can further determine the particle's volume and density.

Table 1: Physical dimensions of a Planck particle
Parameter Dimension Value in SI units
Mass M 3.85763×10−8 kg
Radius L 5.72947×10−35 m
Volume L3 7.87827×10−103 m3
Density M L−3 4.89655×1094 kg m−3
Lifetime T 4.826512×10−39 s

See also


  1. ^ Michel M. Deza; Elena Deza. Encyclopedia of Distances. Springer; 1 June 2009. ISBN 978-3-642-00233-5. p. 433.
  2. ^ "Light element synthesis in Planck fireballs" - SpringerLink
  3. ^ B. Roy Frieden; Robert A. Gatenby. Exploratory data analysis using Fisher information. Springer; 2007. ISBN 978-1-84628-506-6. p. 163.
  4. ^ Harrison, Edward Robert (2000), Cosmology: the science of the universe, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-66148-5 p. 424
  5. ^ Harrison 2000, p. 478.

External links

Black hole

A black hole is a region of spacetime exhibiting gravitational acceleration so strong that nothing—no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from it. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform spacetime to form a black hole. The boundary of the region from which no escape is possible is called the event horizon. Although the event horizon has an enormous effect on the fate and circumstances of an object crossing it, no locally detectable features appear to be observed. In many ways, a black hole acts like an ideal black body, as it reflects no light. Moreover, quantum field theory in curved spacetime predicts that event horizons emit Hawking radiation, with the same spectrum as a black body of a temperature inversely proportional to its mass. This temperature is on the order of billionths of a kelvin for black holes of stellar mass, making it essentially impossible to observe.

Objects whose gravitational fields are too strong for light to escape were first considered in the 18th century by John Michell and Pierre-Simon Laplace. The first modern solution of general relativity that would characterize a black hole was found by Karl Schwarzschild in 1916, although its interpretation as a region of space from which nothing can escape was first published by David Finkelstein in 1958. Black holes were long considered a mathematical curiosity; it was during the 1960s that theoretical work showed they were a generic prediction of general relativity. The discovery of neutron stars by Jocelyn Bell Burnell in 1967 sparked interest in gravitationally collapsed compact objects as a possible astrophysical reality.

Black holes of stellar mass are expected to form when very massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle. After a black hole has formed, it can continue to grow by absorbing mass from its surroundings. By absorbing other stars and merging with other black holes, supermassive black holes of millions of solar masses (M☉) may form. There is general consensus that supermassive black holes exist in the centers of most galaxies.

The presence of a black hole can be inferred through its interaction with other matter and with electromagnetic radiation such as visible light. Matter that falls onto a black hole can form an external accretion disk heated by friction, forming some of the brightest objects in the universe. If there are other stars orbiting a black hole, their orbits can be used to determine the black hole's mass and location. Such observations can be used to exclude possible alternatives such as neutron stars. In this way, astronomers have identified numerous stellar black hole candidates in binary systems, and established that the radio source known as Sagittarius A*, at the core of the Milky Way galaxy, contains a supermassive black hole of about 4.3 million solar masses.

On 11 February 2016, the LIGO collaboration announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves, which also represented the first observation of a black hole merger. As of December 2018, eleven gravitational wave events have been observed that originated from ten merging black holes (along with one binary neutron star merger). On 10 April 2019, the first ever direct image of a black hole and its vicinity was published, following observations made by the Event Horizon Telescope in 2017 of the supermassive black hole in Messier 87's galactic centre.

Gauge boson

In particle physics, a gauge boson is a force carrier, a bosonic particle that carries any of the fundamental interactions of nature, commonly called forces. Elementary particles, whose interactions are described by a gauge theory, interact with each other by the exchange of gauge bosons—usually as virtual particles.

All known gauge bosons have a spin of 1. Therefore, all known gauge bosons are vector bosons.

Gauge bosons are different from the other kinds of bosons: first, fundamental scalar bosons (the Higgs boson); second, mesons, which are composite bosons, made of quarks; third, larger composite, non-force-carrying bosons, such as certain atoms.


Holeums are hypothetical stable, quantized gravitational bound states of primordial or micro black holes. Holeums were proposed by L. K. Chavda and Abhijit Chavda in 2002. They have all the properties associated with cold dark matter. Holeums are not black holes, even though they are made up of black holes.

Index of physics articles (P)

The index of physics articles is split into multiple pages due to its size.

To navigate by individual letter use the table of contents below.

List of unsolved problems in physics

Some of the major unsolved problems in physics are theoretical, meaning that existing theories seem incapable of explaining a certain observed phenomenon or experimental result. The others are experimental, meaning that there is a difficulty in creating an experiment to test a proposed theory or investigate a phenomenon in greater detail.

There are still some deficiencies in the Standard Model of physics, such as the origin of mass, the strong CP problem, neutrino mass, matter–antimatter asymmetry, and the nature of dark matter and dark energy. Another problem lies within the mathematical framework of the Standard Model itself—the Standard Model is inconsistent with that of general relativity, to the point that one or both theories break down under certain conditions (for example within known spacetime singularities like the Big Bang and the centers of black holes beyond the event horizon).

Lists of black holes

This is a list of lists of black holes.

List of black holes.

List of most massive black holes

List of nearest black holes

Micro black hole

Micro black holes, also called quantum mechanical black holes or mini black holes, are hypothetical tiny black holes, for which quantum mechanical effects play an important role. The concept that black holes may exist that are smaller than stellar mass was introduced in 1971 by Stephen Hawking.It is possible that such quantum primordial black holes were created in the high-density environment of the early Universe (or Big Bang), or possibly through subsequent phase transitions. They might be observed by astrophysicists through the particles they are expected to emit by Hawking radiation.

Some hypotheses involving additional space dimensions predict that micro black holes could be formed at energies as low as the TeV range, which are available in particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider. Popular concerns have then been raised over end-of-the-world scenarios (see Safety of particle collisions at the Large Hadron Collider). However, such quantum black holes would instantly evaporate, either totally or leaving only a very weakly interacting residue. Beside the theoretical arguments, the cosmic rays hitting the Earth do not produce any damage, although they reach energies in the range of hundreds of TeV.

Planck (disambiguation)

Planck may refer to:

Max Planck (1858–1947), a German physicist considered to be the founder of quantum theory

Planck length

In physics, the Planck length, denoted ℓP, is a unit of length that is the distance light travels in one unit of Planck time. It is equal to 1.616255(18)×10−35 m. It is a base unit in the system of Planck units, developed by physicist Max Planck. The Planck length can be defined from three fundamental physical constants: the speed of light in a vacuum, the Planck constant, and the gravitational constant.

Planck mass

In physics, the Planck mass, denoted by mP, is the unit of mass in the system of natural units known as Planck units. It is approximately 0.02 milligrams. Unlike some other Planck units, such as Planck length, Planck mass is not a fundamental lower or upper bound; instead, Planck mass is a unit of mass defined using only what Max Planck considered fundamental and universal units. One Planck mass is roughly the mass of a flea egg. For comparison, this value is of the order of 1015 (a quadrillion) times larger than the highest energy available to contemporary particle accelerators.

It is defined as:

where c is the speed of light in a vacuum, G is the gravitational constant, and ħ is the reduced Planck constant.

Substituting values for the various components in this definition gives the approximate equivalent value of this unit in terms of other units of mass:

For the Planck mass , the Schwarzschild radius () and the Compton wavelength () are of the same order as the Planck length .

Particle physicists and cosmologists often use an alternative normalization with the reduced Planck mass, which is

The factor of simplifies a number of equations in general relativity.

Planck units

In particle physics and physical cosmology, Planck units are a set of units of measurement defined exclusively in terms of five universal physical constants, in such a manner that these five physical constants take on the numerical value of 1 when expressed in terms of these units.

Originally proposed in 1899 by German physicist Max Planck, these units are also known as natural units because the origin of their definition comes only from properties of nature and not from any human construct. Planck units are only one system of several systems of natural units, but Planck units are not based on properties of any prototype object or particle (that would be arbitrarily chosen), but rather on only the properties of free space. Planck units have significance for theoretical physics since they simplify several recurring algebraic expressions of physical law by nondimensionalization. They are relevant in research on unified theories such as quantum gravity.

The term "Planck scale" refers to the magnitudes of space, time, energy and other units, below which (or beyond which) the predictions of the Standard Model, quantum field theory and general relativity are no longer reconcilable, and quantum effects of gravity are expected to dominate. This region may be characterized by energies around 1.22×1019 GeV (the Planck energy), time intervals around 5.39×10−44 s (the Planck time) and lengths around 1.62×10−35 m (the Planck length). At the Planck scale, current models are not expected to be a useful guide to the cosmos, and physicists no longer have any scientific model whatsoever to suggest how the physical universe behaves. The best known example is represented by the conditions in the first 10−43 seconds of our universe after the Big Bang, approximately 13.8 billion years ago.

The five universal constants that Planck units, by definition, normalize to 1 are:

the speed of light in a vacuum, c,

the gravitational constant, G,

the reduced Planck constant, ħ,

the Coulomb constant, ke = 1/4πε0

the Boltzmann constant, kBEach of these constants can be associated with a fundamental physical theory or concept: c with special relativity, G with general relativity, ħ with quantum mechanics, ε0 with electromagnetism, and kB with the notion of temperature/energy (statistical mechanics and thermodynamics).

SMSS J215728.21-360215.1

SMSS J215728.21-360215.1, commonly known as J2157-3602, is one of the fastest growing black holes and one of the most powerful quasars known to exist as of 2018. The quasar is located at redshift 4.75, corresponding to a comoving distance of 25×109 ly from Earth and to a light-travel distance of 12.5×109 ly. It was discovered with the SkyMapper telescope at Australian National University's Siding Spring Observatory, announced in May 2018. It has an intrinsic bolometric luminosity of 6.95×1014 L☉ (2.66×1041 W).

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