The Standard Model Explains Force And Matter





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Published on Oct 31, 2009

http://www.facebook.com/ScienceReason ... The Standard Model of Particle Physics (Chapter 2): Force And Matter

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1) First Second Of The Universe:
2) Force And Matter:
3) Quarks:
4) Gluons:
5) Electrons, Protons And Neutrons:
6) Photons, Gravitons & Weak Bosons:
7) Neutrinos:
8) The Higgs Boson / The Higgs Mechanism:

The Standard Model of particle physics is a theory of three of the four known fundamental interactions and the elementary particles that take part in these interactions. These particles make up all visible matter in the universe.

Every high energy physics experiment carried out since the mid-20th century has eventually yielded findings consistent with the Standard Model.

Still, the Standard Model falls short of being a complete theory of fundamental interactions because it does not include gravitation, dark matter, or dark energy. It is not quite a complete description of leptons either, because it does not describe nonzero neutrino masses, although simple natural extensions do.



Down to the Small

Consider a piece of matter, and imagine taking it apart down to its basic constituents the particles that make it up. Down to the atoms ..and further down to the protons, neutrons ... and finally to the quarks and electrons. If our hands were small enough, we could hold them in our hands as well.

As we take matter apart down to the smallest scales, we must pass through levels of structure that are only possible because of FORCES that hold these structures together. The proton and electron for example are attracted to each other ... and that force of attraction is what holds them together in the atom. But what is it really that causes this attraction. How does the electron know the proton is there and what draws it towards the proton? How does the electron know not to be attracted to the neutron?

The answer is that the electron and the proton each fill the space around them with countless millions of other tiny particles that have only the most ephemeral existence. Because it is electrically neutral, the neutron does not.

These particles come into existence only briefly and are gone ... only to be replaced by another one thrown out by the parent particle. On this scale, the tiny bit of energy that is needed for their existence can be created out of ... NOTHING. But they also MUST DISAPPEAR in the briefest instant because the energy used to create them can only exist for a very brief instant.

You can imagine these virtual particles as balls tethered to the parent particle by a rubber band and snapping back to the parent when they disappear. If one or more of them should encroach upon the territory of virtual particles tethered to another parent particle, they can get entwined and exchanged. Such an exchange is felt by the parent particles as a force.


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