Imagine for a moment that the reality you live in is made up of small blocks Seems invisibleParticles that you can’t see or touch but make up everything around you. Each of these tiny masses, much smaller than atoms themselves, or even protons or electrons, is known as Subatomic particlesThey are entities that create matter, while defying classical laws by adapting only to quantum laws.
The history of quarks began in the 1960s, when physicists Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig proposed the existence of quarks to explain the existence of quarks. The chaotic abundance of subatomic particles It is observed in high energy experiments. This concept, which was quite revolutionary at the time, proposed that particles that were thought at the time to be indivisible, namely protons and neutrons, They weren’t really elementaryBut they were composed of much smaller units: the famous quarks.
Roots of matter
The discovery of quarks was a historic milestone at a time when particle physics was going through a great phase Conceptual revolution. High-energy experiments became more common, and in each of them, more and more particles were observed that were until then thought unknown. In this same context, Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig proposed the theory of quarks, that is, they proposed the idea of particles known until then. It wasn’t necessary By themselves, but they were made up of much smaller beings.
It was a revolutionary proposal in the conception of the subject. These scientists stated that quarks can contain… Six different “flavors”. – Top, Bottom, Magic, Strange, Top and Bottom – Moreover, each of them can have a different color. However, by color, they did not exactly refer to a visible color, but to a property Chromoidal pregnancy Related to the strong interactions between these molecules.
Murray Gilman and George Zweig, respectively
The scientific community was slow to accept this idea, as it became increasingly difficult to assume, almost suddenly, that conventional subatomic particles were not in fact fundamental, but were. It consists of much smaller units. It was definitely unsettling. However, as experimental evidence grew stronger, quark theory became accepted as a fundamental pillar of particle physics.
Types of quarks
Curiously, the name chosen to identify the different types of quarks is “flavors.” Each of them will provide a specific model of the quark, with unique properties. Thus quarks are types higher And type under They are closest to us, because they are basic components of matter. They complement each other perfectly, forming protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei, thus creating atoms.
Type quarks Charm It has the most interesting flavour, and is responsible for generating much larger molecules. For their part, quarks are of the type strange It has a very strange property, as its presence in subatomic particles contributes to its disintegration in a strange and different way from those particles that consist only of up and down quarks.
Finally, quarks of the type summit And type background They are part of a much heavier generation. Their presence in matter contributes to understanding more complex subatomic phenomena, such as the creation of a type of particle known as mesons.
Color and confinement
Although talking about the color of quarks makes us think of small particles dyed in a range of colors, it is not a property associated with color. In fact, quite the opposite: it has a more abstract meaning. In fact, it refers to Quantum chromodynamicsalso known as QCD, is a theory that describes the way in which… Quarks and gluons interactA strong force between the particles.
In fact, the colors of quarks can be described as “red,” “green,” or “blue,” each of which is a way of describing the different states of chromodynamic charge they can have. Unlike other particles, such as electrons for example, which can exist in combination with other particles and individually, It is impossible for quarks to be in a free state.: They will always be confined within the composite particles. What’s more, when quarks try to separate, the force acting between them increases rather than decreases. In other words, when we try to separate two quarks, the energy needed to do so will become increasingly larger, making this task completely impossible.
Now there is Certain scenarios Where it will be possible to find, very temporarily, free quarks. These are states known as “asymptotic freedom” and correspond to the early stages of the Big Bang or some high-energy particle collider experiments. Under these conditions, it is possible that the strong force holding them together would weaken enough to allow the quarks to exist temporarily as free particles, before new composite particles are formed again.
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