In the last article, we have learnt about “Chaos Theory”. In this article let us learn the concept of “Particle physics.”
Particle physics: Particle physics is a branch of physics that deals with properties and behaviour of elementary particles. In other words, Particle physics is a branch of physics that studies the nature of the particles that constitute matter and radiation.
The other name for this is “High energy physics”. In our schooling, we have learnt that subatomic particles are protons, neutrons and electrons. These cannot be classified any further. However, after many experiments, the elementary particles are classified further. According to the Standard Model of physics, there are three types of main particles.
1.Quarks: Quark is a fundamental constituent of matter. These quarks combine to produce composite particles called “hadrons.”
Hadrons: These are the most massive particles. It is composed of two or more quarks that are held firmly by the electromagnetic force. The most stable hadrons are neutrons and protons that are the components of atomic nuclei.
There are 6 types of quarks which are in the image below.
In 1964, two physicists independently proposed the existence of the subatomic particles known as quarks. Physicists Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig were working independently on a theory for strong interaction symmetry in particle physics.
Quarks are one of the basic building blocks of the universe. Therefore, quarks are fundamental constituent of a matter.
2.Leptons: These are the subatomic particles that are not affected by strong forces (a fundamental interaction of nature that acts between subatomic particles of matter.) . They only interact via the electromagnetic and weak forces (the weak force or weak nuclear force, a vital force of nature that underlies some forms of radioactivity.)
There are 6 types of leptons which are in the image below.
Muons and Tauons: Muons and tauons are heavier and highly unstable versions of the electron.
Neutrino: A neutrino is a subatomic particle that is very similar to an electron but has no electrical charge and a very small mass, which might even be zero. Neutrinos are one of the most abundant particles in the universe. Because they have very little interaction with matter, however, they are tough to detect.
3. Bosons: A boson is a particle which carries a force. Bosons carry energy. Therefore, bosons are the particles which are responsible for all physical forces.
There are five type of boson’s as shown in the figure.
Gluon: Gluon is called the messenger particle of the strong nuclear force, which binds subatomic particles known as quarks within the protons and neutrons of stable matter as well as within more massive, short-lived particles created at high energies.
Photon: A photon is the smallest discrete amount or quantum of electromagnetic radiation. It is the basic unit of all light. They have zero mass and rest energy. Therefore, they only exist as moving particles and are stable.
W-Z Bosons: These are the elementary particles that mediate the weak interaction force in an atom.
Higgs Boson: It is a particle which can be called as the messenger particle, or boson, of the Higgs field. It is also called as the “God-Particle.”
Higgs Field: The Higgs field is a field of energy that to exists in every region of the universe. The area consists of a fundamental particle known as the Higgs boson, which is used by the field to interact with other particles continuously.
So these are the elementary particles. The study of the above particles is nothing but “Particle Physics.”