Structure of Matter

Enter the Quark


Despite Gell-Mann's pattern and the classification of particles as either Baryons or Mesons, physicists were still stuck with hundreds of "fundamental" particles.

To escape the "Particle Zoo," the next logical step was to investigate whether these patterns could be explained by postulating that all Baryons and Mesons are made of other particles. These particles were named Quarks.

Murray Gell-Mann and George Zwieg proposed that baryons are particles consisting of three quarks (qqq), while mesons are particles consisting of a quark and anti-quark (q q-bar).

(An "up" quark is labeled by the letter u and the "down" quark by d. The words up and down are just names for these quarks, nothing is actually up or down.)

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