Friday, October 7, 2011

Carl's Chemistry

The other day, Carl Brannen notably remarked that the tribimaximal mixing matrix for neutrinos was a fine example of orbital hybridisation. Check out this cute animation of the three orbital hybrid of type $2s p_x p_y$. A good chemistry textbook will explain that these orbitals match the columns of the tribimaximal matrix, so that the spherical $s$ orbital always creates one third of the hybrid orbital. Now, as regular readers of this blog will realise, this is probably not a coincidence. Gravity is about mass, and as we learned a century ago, mass is energy. Why should physics only be about fundamental particles, when there are so many other scales to explore? These magical $sp^2$ hybrids form a triality pattern,
just like the underlying logic of the particle generations.

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