In the last few episodes, we’ve been talking about the standard model of physics, explaining what everything is made up of. But the reality is that we probably don’t know a fraction of how everything is put together. This week we’re going to talk about baryons, the particles made up of quarks. The most famous […]
Physicists are getting a handle on the structure of the Universe, how everything is made of something else. Molecules are made of atoms, atoms are made of protons, neutrons and electrons, etc. Even smaller than that are the quarks and the leptons, which seem to be the basic building blocks of all matter.
We know dark matter exists. We know this because without it and dark energy, our Universe would be missing 95.4% of its mass. What’s more, scientists would be hard pressed to explain what accounts for the gravitational effects they routinely see at work in the cosmos. For decades, scientists have sought to prove its existence […]
You may have heard that CERN announced the discovery (confirmation, actually. See addendum below.) of a strange particle known as Z(4430). A paper summarizing the results has been published on the physics arxiv, which is a repository for preprint (not yet peer reviewed) physics papers. The new particle is about 4 times more massive than a proton, […]
The proton has three parts, two up quarks and one down quark … and the gluons which these three quarks exchange, which is how the strong (nuclear) force works to keep them from getting out. The proton’s world is a totally quantum one, and so it is described entirely by just a handful of numbers, […]