QR4.7.3 The Mass Problem

A proton’s charge is one, the simple sum of its constituent quark charges, but its mass is a hundred times that of three quark masses. Quark charges add when they combine but their masses somehow multiply. Current physics attributes the extra mass to the gluons that bind quarks but can’t say how massless gluons make mass or why gluons don’t increase charge as well? The standard model describes particles with hugely varying masses but can offer no reason at all for the variation:

“… though the actual value of the basic electric charge … remains a theoretical mystery … all other charges found in the universe are … multiples of this value. Nothing like this appears to be the case for rest-mass, and the underlying reason for the particular values of the rest-masses of … particle types is completely unknown.” (Peroe, 2010) p153.

The mass problem is that the masses of elementary particle vary enormously for no apparent reason.

If charge is left-over processing, its limit is one quantum process per channel so charges can’t exceed the standard plus or minus one. Why then isn’t the total processing done, or mass, limited in the same way? The answer now suggested is that the processing done can interfere.

Interference in networks occurs when two processes seek the same resource at the same time. They interfere, just as two cars coming to an intersection at the same time can’t both enter the same space. Studies show that traffic flow slows down when traffic merges at motorway on-ramps because the cars have to negotiate who goes first. And the run-on effects of such slow-downs can cause traffic jams that extend for miles, so interference effects aren’t linear.

The same thing happens on a computer network as when processing interferes it must stop and try again, just as cars at an uncontrolled intersection must stop to agree who goes first. This wastes processing time so interference slows down computer networks just as it slows down traffic networks and again the effect isn’t linear as one clash can cause another. When computer networks tried central controls like the traffic lights on road networks, it was found to be inefficient. A better solution was protocols like Ethernet that lets processes access network resource when they want to but if a collision is detected, both stop and retry after a random time interval (to avoid repeat collisions). Computer networks under load slow down for the same reason that traffic networks slow down at rush hour, because parties can’t access the same resources at the same time.

The quantum network is essentially a first-come-first-served system with no central control, where interference occurs when photons compete for the same channels so some have to try again elsewhere. This wastes processing and, in this model, the total processing required is mass.

The mass increase can be estimated by the number of channel overlaps in the photon structure, as photons compete for channels. For example, an electron has two photon streams intersecting but a quark has three photon streams intersecting so a quark has more overlapping channels, more interference and hence more mass than an electron. Each quantum cycle, every photon has to find a channel and every time two or more photons try to access the same channel there is interference that uses up processing, so quarks end up with about ten times the mass of an electron. Quarks in a proton have even more overlap and thus more interference giving more mass. Mass as total processing done explains the “creation of mass” without recourse to magical gluons.

Interference even suggests why down quarks are heavier than up quarks. If an up quark is two photon tail sets colliding with a set of photon heads (Table 4.3), the tails fill channels first, leaving one set of heads to fight over the remaining channels. In a down quark, one tail set gets first access, leaving the two sets of photon heads to fight over the rest, giving more interference and so slightly more mass.

If we could simulate how photons fill channels in quarks and electrons, the time taken up by interference would reflect the extra mass created. In Table 4.1, the masses of leptons, quarks and neutrinos aren’t fixed like charge but vary over a range of values. The standard model assumes that quarks come in different sizes with different masses but in this model, every quark is exactly the same but its mass varies for the same reason that every day’s traffic jam delay is different. A quantum processing model explains why the mass of elementary particles varies enormously but their charges don’t.