Thursday, 5 March 2020

Planck dimensions

At equations 4.91-4.95 Carroll gives the Planck's set of four dimensioned quantities: Planck's mass, length, time and energy. I wanted to compare them with actual things. Planck first noticed these way back in 1899.
\begin{align}

m_p=\sqrt{\frac{\hbar c}{G}}&=2.18\times{10}^{-8}\rm{kg}&\rm{{10}^{7}\ E. coli}\phantom {100000000000000000000}&\phantom {10000}(1)\nonumber\\

l_p=\sqrt{\frac{\hbar G}{c^3}}&=1.63\times{10}^{-35}\rm{m}&\rm{Radius\ of\ proton\ ={10}^{-15}\ m}\phantom {10000}&\phantom {10000}(2)\nonumber\\

t_p=\sqrt{\frac{\hbar G}{c^5}}&=5.39\times{10}^{-44}\rm{s}&\rm{Cosmic\ inflation\ ends\ at\ {10}^{-32}s}\phantom {10000}&\phantom {10000}(3)\nonumber\\

E_p=\sqrt{\frac{\hbar c^5}{G}}&=1.95\times{10}^9\rm{J}&\rm{Sun\ emits{\ 10}^{26}\ Js^{-1}.  \text{ A-bomb}\rm={10}^{12}}\ J&\phantom {10000}(4)\nonumber\\

&=1.22\times{10}^{19}\rm{GeV}&

&\phantom {10000}\nonumber

\end{align}
Max Planck 1858-1947
He then says "Most likely, quantum gravity does not become important until we consider particle masses greater than ##m_p##, or times shorter than ##t_p##, or lengths smaller than ##l_p##, or energies greater than ##E_p##; at lower scales classical GR should suffice. Since these are all far removed from observable phenomena, constructing a consistent theory of quantum gravity is more an issue of principle than of practice."

Whilst it is unimaginable that we will see things shorter than ##t_p## or smaller than ##l_p##, particle masses ('point masses') greater than ##m_p## are commonplace in GR and energies greater than ##E_p## are happening all the time. Can anybody help me make sense of the ##m_p,E_p## parts? And why are those 'greater than' and the others 'less than'?

I found out when I asked on physics forums. Read it at Commentary 4.5 Planck dimensions.pdf (2 pages).

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