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What's the smallest unit of matter?

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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 11:34:49 AM PST
The Weasel says:
arpard fazakas says:
Quarks (up, down, strange, charm, bottom, and top) and leptons (electrons and their neutrinos, mu electrons and their neutrinos, tau electrons and their neutrinos). These are not known to have internal structure, i.e., to contain even smaller entities.
Who decided that charm and strange made sense as "opposite" orientations? And don't "Top" and "Bottom" seem a little too butch considering today's political climate? After all in 48 states they still can't marry.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 12:21:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2012 12:22:06 PM PST
"Strange" was coined to describe particles that decay more slowly than expected. The term was introduced in the 1950s by Gell-Mann before quarks were thought of. Subsequently it was discovered that these particles contain quarks different than the more usual up and down quarks, so they were called strange quarks. The other terms ("charm", "top", "bottom" or "beauty") are just whimsical names added on as additional quarks became necessary to explain the particle "zoo".
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Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  31
Total posts:  127
Initial post:  Feb 22, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 15, 2012

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