In this How to, i will teach you about the Standard Model of Particle Physics. The first question is, what is the Standard Model of Particle Physics? The Standard Model is basically a model, that describes every known particle that we know to date, and the laws that govern these particles.
There are two types of particles that are in the Standard Model: fermions, and bosons. Fermions spin with a half integer number, and can't be in the same quantum state at the same time. Bosons are very different from fermions. They spin with an integer number, and they can be in the same quantum state at the same time. Let's talk about the fermions first. Fermions have two groups: quarks, and leptons.
Quarks make up two particles: baryons and mesons. Mesons are force carriers. There are six types of quarks: up, down, strange, charm, top, and bottom. You will never see a quark alone (except the top quark) because the strong force (I will get to that in a moment) pulls the quarks together into particles very fast. The top quark decays so fast, that it does not get pulled together by the strong force. Now, to the leptons. Leptons include: the electron (one of my favorites), tau, tau neutrino, electron neutrino, muon, and muon neutrino. Neutrinos are one of the most mysterious particles in the universe. They pass through ordinary matter as if there was nothing there. 150 trillion neutrinos pass through your body each second, undetected.
We'll now talk about bosons. Bosons include the W boson, Z boson, photon, and the gluon. the Higgs Boson is still being investigated, so it is not in the Standard Model yet. The W boson has a positive or negative charge, allowing it to have an anti particle. All particles need to have a charge to have an anti particle. The Z boson has no charge, making it neutral. A neutron has no charge, therefore it is neutral (hence the name). The photon is a particle of light. It emanates the electromagnetic force, so when you use a magnet, you are using photons. The photon has zero mass, allowing it to travel at the speed of light (186,282 m/sec). It is neutral. The gluon is an emanator of the strong force, pulling quarks together to form particles. The gluon is neutral, and has zero mass. The gluon can pull things together if they are 10^-15 meters (the size of an atomic nucleus) apart.
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