April 26, 2007
six quarks and three leptons
And there are many answers to the question of how much longer this Russian-doll game will continue. If one is to be absolutely honest, none is reliable, although at least there is a fascinatingly stringent basic system, from whose hat all the currently known subatomic particles can be pulled: the Standard Model of elementary particle physics. It knows six quarks and three leptons (with their respective anti-particles and neutrinos) as well as four bosons which mediate the forces between particles. All these particles and their combinations – christened with nice little names like Charm, Pion and Kaon – are well defined within the model, whose clairvoyant powers border on the magical. And yet particle physicists are not entirely satisfied with their construction kit, because it has a few gaps in it which prevent them from sleeping at night.
more from Ulrich Woelk on the origin of things at Sign and Sight here.
Posted by Morgan Meis at 07:05 PM | Permalink