Nuclear Structure from Na?ve Meson Theory, Part 1

Year: 2008 Pages: 25

In 1958 R.B. Leighton lamented ?? on the one hand, no one seriously doubts that the meson theory is at least qualitatively correct, but on the other hand, not a single quantity has yet been calculated and measured with sufficient accuracy to constitute a convincing confirmation of its quantitative correctness?. The 50th anniversary of this statement is an appropriate occasion to review progress in understanding meson theory and nuclear structure ? a topic that epitomizes Relativistic concepts by encompassing the quickest and most energetic of all processes, with mass and energy being routinely inter-convertible, and nuclear binding-energies directly calculated from ?missing mass? by means of Einstein\'s famous formula E =mc2. On a philosophical level, Relativity can be about viewing the world from different frames of reference ? what would the world look like if we could ride a beam of light? In like vein we could ask what nuclear processes and structures would look like from the relativistic frame of reference of, say, a meson? Processes that take say 10-22 seconds in our macro-worldview, would represent an eternity for some highly accelerated and shortlived elementary particles. Mesonic currents flowing between nucleons would seem steady and eternal, instead of so brief that we in the big world can only think of them in terms of probability and uncertainty. This paper argues that nuclear processes, and nuclear structure itself, becomes almost trivially Newtonian from the frame of reference of mesonic currents, providing an unexpectedly simple ?ball and stick? type general solution to the N-body problem in nuclear physics (similar to molecular structures in chemistry), universally enabling nuclear binding energies to be calculated to a few significant figures using little more than mental arithmetic based upon intuitive circuit diagrams. This is in stark contrast to the horrendously complex supercomputer computations, based on wave mechanics, which basically don\'t work and are still struggling with the mere Three Body (?Borromeo?) problem that may be insoluble in principle. This paper offers the first real (albeit approximate) general solution to the N-body problem in nuclear physics, accounting for exotic halo and super-deformed nuclear states as well as nuclear shells, in terms of a new system of mesonic circuit diagrams that are to nuclear physics what the Feynman diagrams are to quantum electrodynamics. Doing nuclear binding energy calculations from a relativistic meson\'s frame of reference is no more mysterious than using logarithms to turn multiplications into additions.

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