APR 12, 2017 9:46 AM PDT

Protons and Electrons and Quarks, Oh My!


Standard physics classes in most high schools talk about matter being made of atoms. And atoms are made of protons, neutrons and electrons. And that in each of those parts of the atom, there are three quarks. Those are the basics, but as it turns out, it's a little more complicated. There are not always just three quarks. Protons will always have three quarks, two down and one up, and these are valence quarks. It doesn't stop there however. Some protons will also have anti quark pairs and other particles called gluons that hold it all together. But wait,there's more!

Where does all this stuff come from? Einstein said it best in his E=mc2 formula. Mass can create energy and energy can create mass and that's where the magic happens, all the energy from the quark and anti-quarks makes more matter. There are laws however that still exist. Quark pairs must match, and there must always be one more up quark than there are down quarks. It's the concept of equal and opposite reactions that keeps everything from flying off into a huge mess. Check out the sweet way this video demonstrates some cool particle physics.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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