The Standard Model

Image: Standard Model - Click to enlarge

The current Standard Model of Elementary Particles (circa 2014). Reproduced courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.


The Standard Model of particle physics is a theory concerning the electromagnetic, weak, and strong nuclear interactions, as well as classifying all the subatomic particles known.

Faster than Light

The neutrino, unlike all other particles, has been shown by scientists at CERN to travel fractionally faster than the speed of light.

It has virtually no mass, and no electronic charge. It passes through most matter, even miles of rock, and is only affected by weak forces such as gravity.

Beauty Quark

Nowadays, the term 'bottom' quark has generally replaced the original 'beauty' quark.

Science and Technology

Science Explained: Basic Subatomic Particles

  Inside Atoms  

This page will introduce readers with little knowledge of sub-nuclear particle physics, to some of the basic and most important concepts. As a simplified introductory guide, that will not deal with more complex issues or theories; but it will help explain the scientific principles as used in the trilogy.

This is how the basics fit together. Let's begin with the building blocks: The current Standard Model of Elementary Particles, pictured right, shows seventeen of the known particles, which at last count numbered twenty-seven.

Neutrons and protons (both composed of quarks), comprise the nucleus of an atom, which is orbited by one or many electrons, which are leptons. Neutrons and protons are called hadrons - Greek for heavy. They are composed of quarks. Quarks are elementary particles that have fractional electric charge - either 1/3rd or 2/3rd the charge of the electron.

Quarks feel the strong nuclear force transmitted by gluons. This force is unusual because its effects get stronger the more you try and pull quarks apart. Most forces like gravity are weaker the further apart the interacting particles - inverse square law etc.

So two consequences:
(1) Quarks seldom exist alone, they always come in pairs, or more - as you try and separate them the energy (and mass) of their interaction becomes so great that quark pairs are generated that pair off to lower the energy of the system. So you never normally find quarks by themselves.

(2) Neither do you find fractional electric charges in nature - so either you have two bound quarks of opposite charge +1/3e and -1/3e that cancel out to give a neutral particle, or three bound quarks +1/3e + 1/3e +1/3e (or the negative equivalent) to give particles of charge +1 or -1, or three quarks (+2/3e - 1/3e-1/3e) to give particles of charge 0.

Neutrons are bound systems of 3 quarks with net electric charge zero, composed of a down-up-down quarks. Protons are bound systems of 3 quarks with net electric charge +1, composed of up-down-up quarks.

Heavier quarks are unstable and decay to lower mass quarks - that's why a neutron alone outside the atomic nucleus will decay into a proton, anti-electron, and neutrino with a half-life of around 15 seconds. In comparison the experimental lower bound on the half-life of the proton is about 10^33 years.

Systems of two bound quarks are called mesons. The chi-boson is a meson composed of a bottom and anti-bottom quark. Bottom quarks are quite massive, so creating them takes a lot of energy; an LHC scale machine is required. So this announcement is not unexpected - just nice to see.



A photon is a meson, composed of two quarks of opposite charge, and direction. Theoretically, the anti-quark component travels backwards in time.

A photon is both a wave and particle phenomena, and is unusual in other respects. It has mass and speed, which makes it a vector particle.

The quark has no mass when at rest. Therefore it ceases to exist, and becomes two quarks.

Quark Anomaly

Having stated that quarks are always paired, or more, the photon breaks the rules; since removed from Wikipedia pages. Why?

The two quarks in question, cannot reform as a photon, because there is no speed. Therefore they normally become other forms of matter.

The Ancestors realised this, and used these quarks to form the basis of their transporter science; as paired quarks, they had to have equal, but opposite qualities. They Used Singularity Crystals to control the quarks.

Image: The Ancestors came from the stars ... Alpha Centauri - click for larger image




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Image: Alpha Proxima, a planet of the sun the Ancestors fled from - click for larger image