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Category# Particle physics

Summary

Particle physics or high energy physics is the study of fundamental particles and forces that constitute matter and radiation. The fundamental particles in the universe are classified in the Standard Model as fermions (matter particles) and bosons (force-carrying particles). There are three generations of fermions, although ordinary matter is made only from the first fermion generation. The first generation consists of up and down quarks which form protons and neutrons, and electrons and electron neutrinos. The three fundamental interactions known to be mediated by bosons are electromagnetism, the weak interaction, and the strong interaction.
Quarks cannot exist on their own but form hadrons. Hadrons that contain an odd number of quarks are called baryons and those that contain an even number are called mesons. Two baryons, the proton and the neutron, make up most of the mass of ordinary matter. Mesons are unstable and the longest-lived last for only a few hundredths of a microsecond. They occur after collisions between particles made of quarks, such as fast-moving protons and neutrons in cosmic rays. Mesons are also produced in cyclotrons or other particle accelerators.
Particles have corresponding antiparticles with the same mass but with opposite electric charges. For example, the antiparticle of the electron is the positron. The electron has a negative electric charge, the positron has a positive charge. These antiparticles can theoretically form a corresponding form of matter called antimatter. Some particles, such as the photon, are their own antiparticle.
These elementary particles are excitations of the quantum fields that also govern their interactions. The dominant theory explaining these fundamental particles and fields, along with their dynamics, is called the Standard Model. The reconciliation of gravity to the current particle physics theory is not solved; many theories have addressed this problem, such as loop quantum gravity, string theory and supersymmetry theory.

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Presentation of particle properties, their symmetries and interactions.
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Electroweak interaction

In particle physics, the electroweak interaction or electroweak force is the unified description of two of the four known fundamental interactions of nature: electromagnetism (electromagnetic interaction) and the weak interaction. Although these two forces appear very different at everyday low energies, the theory models them as two different aspects of the same force. Above the unification energy, on the order of 246 GeV, they would merge into a single force.

J/psi meson

The _J/psi (J/psi) meson ˈdʒeɪ_ˈsaɪ_ˈmiːzɒn is a subatomic particle, a flavor-neutral meson consisting of a charm quark and a charm antiquark. Mesons formed by a bound state of a charm quark and a charm anti-quark are generally known as "charmonium" or psions. The _J/Psi is the most common form of charmonium, due to its spin of 1 and its low rest mass. The _J/Psi has a rest mass of 3.0969GeV/c2, just above that of the _charmed eta (2.9836GeV/c2), and a mean lifetime of 7.2e-21s.

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The Standard Model of particle physics is the theory describing three of the four known fundamental forces (electromagnetic, weak and strong interactions – excluding gravity) in the universe and classifying all known elementary particles. It was developed in stages throughout the latter half of the 20th century, through the work of many scientists worldwide, with the current formulation being finalized in the mid-1970s upon experimental confirmation of the existence of quarks.

Topics in quantum field theory

In theoretical physics, quantum field theory (QFT) is a theoretical framework that combines classical field theory, special relativity, and quantum mechanics. QFT is used in particle physics to construct physical models of subatomic particles and in condensed matter physics to construct models of quasiparticles. QFT treats particles as excited states (also called quanta) of their underlying quantum fields, which are more fundamental than the particles.

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