fundamental particles

forcecarrying particles

The interactions of matter particles are subject to four fundamental forces: gravity, electromagnetic force, weak nuclear force, and strong nuclear force. All of these forces are thought to be transmitted by bosons, the force- carrying fundamental particles. The different types of bosons and the forces they carry are shown in Table 1.2. Consider the examples of gluons, the bosons that carry the strong nuclear force. A continuous exchange of gluons between quarks binds them together in both protons and neutrons. Note that force-carrying particles for gravity (gravitons) have not yet been found. Type of Bosons Gluons Fundamental Force They Carry strong nuclear force Particles They Affect quarks Distance over Which They Carry Force only within the nucleus Type of Bosons W bosons Z bosons Photons Gravitons (hypothetical) Fundamental Force They Carry weak nuclear force Particles They Affect leptons and quarks Distance over Which They Carry Force only within the nucleus electromagnetic force force of gravity leptons and quarks leptons and quarks all distances all distances Q: Which type of boson carries force between the negative electrons and positive protons of an atom? A: Photons carry electromagnetic force. They are responsible for the force of attraction or repulsion between all electrically charged matter, including the force of attraction between negative electrons and positive protons in an atom. Q: Gravitons have not yet been discovered so they have only been hypothesized to exist. What evidence do you think leads scientists to think that these hypothetical particles affect both leptons and quarks and that they carry force over all distances? A: Gravity is known to affect all matter that has mass, and both quarks and leptons have mass. Gravity is also known to work over long as well as short distances. For example, Earths gravity keeps you firmly planted on the ground and also keeps the moon orbiting around the planet.

the search for fundamental particles

Scientists have long wanted to find the most basic building blocks of the universe. They asked, what are the fundamental particles of matter that cannot be subdivided into smaller, simpler particles, and what holds these particles together? The quest for fundamental particles began thousands of years ago. Scientists thought they had finally found them when John Dalton discovered the atom in 1803 (see the timeline in Table 1.1). The word atom means indivisible, and Dalton thought that the atom could not be divided into smaller, simpler particles. Year Discovery Year 1803 Discovery John Dalton discovers the atom. 1897 J.J. Thomson discovers the electron, the first lepton to be discovered. 1905 Albert Einstein discovers the photon, the first boson to be discovered. 1911 Ernest Rutherford discovers the proton, the first particle to be discovered in the nucleus of the atom. Year 1932 Discovery James Chadwick discovers the neutron, another particle in the nucleus. 1964 Murray Gell-Mann proposes the existence of quarks, the fundamental particles that make up protons and neutrons. 1964-present Through the research of many scientists, many other fundamental particles (except gravitons) are shown to exist. For almost 100 years after Dalton discovered atoms, they were accepted as the fundamental particles of matter. But starting in the late 1890s with the discovery of electrons, particles smaller and simpler than atoms were identified. Within a few decades, protons and neutrons were also discovered. Ultimately, hundreds of subatomic particles were found.

leptons and quarks and bosons oh my

Today, scientists think that electrons truly are fundamental particles that cannot be broken down into smaller, simpler particles. They are a type of fundamental particles called leptons. Protons and neutrons, on the other hand, are no longer thought to be fundamental particles. Instead, they are now thought to consist of smaller, simpler particles of matter called quarks. Scientists theorize that leptons and quarks are held together by yet another type of fundamental particles called bosons. All three types of fundamental particlesleptons, quarks, and bosonsare described below. The following Figure 1.1 shows the variety of particles of each type. There are six types of quarks. In ordinary matter, virtually all quarks are of the types called up and down quarks. All quarks have mass, and they have an electric charge of either +2/3 or -1/3. For example, up quarks have a charge of +2/3, and down quarks have a charge of -1/3. Quarks also have a different type of charge, called color charge, although it has nothing to do with the colors that we see. Quarks are never found alone but instead always occur in groups of two or three quarks. There are also six types of leptons, including electrons. Leptons have an electric charge of either -1 or 0. Electrons, for example, have a charge of -1. Leptons have mass, although the mass of electrons is extremely small. There are four known types of bosons, which are force-carrying particles. Each of these bosons carries a different fundamental force between interacting particles. In addition, there is a particle which may exist, called the "Higgs Boson", which gives objects the masses they have. Some types of bosons have mass; others are massless. Bosons have an electric charge of +1, -1, or 0. Q: Protons consist of three quarks: two up quarks and one down quark. Neutrons also consist of three quarks: two down quarks and one up quark. Based on this information, what is the total electric charge of a proton? Of a neutron? A: These combinations of quarks give protons a total electric charge of +1 (2/3 + 2/3 - 1/3 = 1) and neutrons a total electric charge of 0 (2/3 - 1/3 - 1/3 = 0).


the standard model

Based on their knowledge of subatomic particles, scientists have developed a theory called the standard model to explain all the matter in the universe and how it is held together. The model includes only the fundamental particles in the Table 1.2. No other particles are needed to explain all kinds of matter. According to the model, all known matter consists of quarks and leptons that interact by exchanging bosons, which transmit fundamental forces. The standard model is a good theory because all of its predictions have been verified by experimental data. However, the model doesnt explain everything, including the force of gravity and why matter has mass. Scientists continue to search for evidence that will allow them to explain these aspects of force and matter as well.

instructional diagrams

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which fundamental particle was discovered first?

a) gluon

b) photon

c) quark

-->  d) electron

fundamental particles that make up protons and neutrons are known as

a) bosons.

b) leptons.

-->  c) quarks.

d) none of the above

scientists think that leptons and quarks are held together by neutrinos.

a. true

-->  b. false

in ordinary matter, virtually all quarks are strange quarks and charm quarks.

a. true

-->  b. false

fundamental forces that affect matter include

a) gravitational force.

b) electromagnetic force.

c) weak nuclear force.

-->  d) all of the above

diagram questions

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