A Model Family: The Quarks

Poster Science


Particle physics uses something call the standard model, which describes the fundamental particles, and how they behave and interact.

It divides the fundamental particles into three families, the quarks, the leptons and the gauge bosons… and one loner, the Higgs Boson.

There are six different quarks, which get organised into three pairs because their properties follow a bit of a pattern.

They have slightly odd names: up & down, charm & strange, and top & bottom.

Quarks have electric charges, so they make and are affected by electric fields. Oddly, though, the size of their electric charges is one or two thirds of the size of the electric charge on an electron.

(Up, charm and top quarks have a charge of +2/3 , down, strange, and bottom quarks have a charge of -1/3.)

Quarks have a mass. If you could somehow get them to sit still and get on a…

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