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Up and Down; Charm and Strange; Truth and Beauty

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 2 comments

This is no nursery jingle, but names of six types of Quarks. These quarks (that make up neutron and proton in nucleus) are grouped into three families (or flavours)- a pair in each family. Each pair is usually seen with each other only. Besides quark, other fundamental particles are Leptons, also six, also seen in pairs (as Electron with its associated neutrino), also grouped into three families. Why is nature so exuberant in displaying a wild zoo of fundamental particles? To confuse us!!
The families can be tabulated as follows:-
----------Lepton Pairs------------ ------Quark Pairs-----------------
1. Electron and its Neutrino(e) : 'Up' Quark and 'Down' Quark
2. Muon and its Neutrino(mu) : 'Charm' Quark and 'Strange' Quark
3. Tau and its Neutrino(tau): 'Truth' Quark and 'beauty' Quark
Truth and Beauty are also known as Top and Bottom by less romantic Scientists.
The first of each pair quarks (Up, Charm and Truth) have a charge of +2/3 (of an electron's charge) and the others have a charge of -1/3.
First of each pair of Leptons (Electron, Muon and Tau) have charge -1, but all the neutrinos have no charge and (maybe) no mass either.
You may notice, the artistic liberties taken by scientists in naming the three pairs of Quark - and step motherly treatment for neutrinos - not even an independent name for the three neutrinos - left to be known by its paired particle - electron/muon/tau. The names of quarks are just that - names which do not reflect any property.
Even one family i.e. first one of Electron, its neutrino, up&Down Quark; is good enough to explain all normal material (except particles found in Cosmic Rays, which are generated by exotic process). Why other two family of Leptons and quark exist, is a mystery not yet solved. The Leptons of other two families are unstable and undergo transformations into first family in short time.
Do these two remaining families combine to make up space - thus remaining hidden from "normal material". If that be so, these particles would get blasted out of "nothing" by exotic particle level encounters - and are thus seen in many Particle accelerator events. Q.E.D.
yea! To me all looks to be Nothing:-))

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2 comments: to “ Up and Down; Charm and Strange; Truth and Beauty so far...

  • Anonymous October 31, 2008 4:32 AM
     

    You say:

    "The first of each pair quarks (Up, Charm and Truth) have a charge of +2/3 (of an electron's charge) and the others have a charge of -1/3."

    Say rather that they have a charge of +2/3 and -1/3 of a _proton's_ charge--since electrons have negative charge, +2/3 of an electron's charge is a -2/3 charge and -1/3 is a +1/3 charge. But good article, nonetheless, and I agree about the TB quarks' names.

  • Anonymous November 16, 2011 8:36 AM
     

    I'd like to know which quark(s) is the most common, truth, beauty, top, bottom, up, or down.

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