The quark model postulates that the hadrons such as protons and neutrons have an inner structure; quarks.

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What's inside a proton?

What constitutes protons? When I see pictures, I can't understand. Protons are made of quarks, but some say that they are made of 99% empty space. Also, in this illustration from Wikipedia, what's ...
24
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5answers
7k views

Why do electron and proton have the same but opposite electric charge?

What is the explanation between equality of proton and electron charges (up to a sign)? This is connected to the gauge invariance and renormalization of charge is connected to the renormalization of ...
22
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4answers
2k views

Could the Periodic Table have been done using group theory?

These three questions are phrased as alternative-history questions, but my real intent is to understand better how well different modeling approaches fit the phenomena they are used to describe; see 1 ...
13
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2answers
3k views

Is it pions or gluons that mediate the strong force between nucleons?

From my recent experience teaching high school students I've found that they are taught that the strong force between nucleons is mediated by virtual-pion exchange, whereas between quarks it's gluons. ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What does it mean that the neutral pion is a mixture of quarks?

The quark composition of the neutral pion ($\pi^0$) is $\frac{u\bar{u} - d\bar{d}}{\sqrt{2}}$. What does this actually mean? I think it's bizarre that a particle doesn't have a definite composition. ...
12
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1answer
283 views

Magnetic monopoles

I am a non-expert in this field, just have a layman's interest in the subject. Has anyone ever considered the possibility of magnetic monopoles (one positive and one negative charge) being confined ...
11
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1answer
685 views

How to determine the mass of a quark?

As far as I know quarks are never found in isolation, so how can we determine their rest mass?
9
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2answers
588 views

What IS Color Charge?

This question has been asked twice already, with very detailed answers. After reading those answers, I am left with one more question: what is color charge? It has nothing to do with colored light, ...
9
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1answer
310 views

Why does the eightfold way work?

Last year I attended an introductory particle physics course, in which the Eigthfold Way for classifying hadrons has been discussed. The main idea consists in grouping hadrons in multiplets (i.e ...
8
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4answers
13k views

What are quarks made of?

So atoms are formed from protons and neutrons, which are formed from quarks. But where do these quarks come from? What makes them?
8
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2answers
837 views

About free quarks and confinement

I simply know that a single free quark does not exist. What is the reason that we can not get a free quark? If we can't get a free quark then what is single-top-quark?
8
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2answers
613 views

Neutrino oscillations versus CMK quark mixing

I wish to describe in simple but correct terms the analogy between the Cabibbo–Kobayashi–Maskawa (CMK) and Pontecorvo–Maki–Nakagawa–Sakata (PMNS) matrices. The CMK matrix describes the rotation ...
8
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1answer
95 views

Would a high energy bottom quark 'decay' to a top quark?

The reason for the long life time of $B$-hadrons is that the CKM element $|V_{tb}| > 0.999$, meaning that the preferred decay of the $b$-quark is to a $t$-quark (and vice versa). However because ...
8
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1answer
531 views

Do color-neutral gluons exist?

If I'm correct a quark can change color by emitting a gluon. For example a blue up quark $u_b$ can change into a red up quark by emitting a gluon: $$u_b \longrightarrow u_r + g_{b\overline{r}}$$ ...
7
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2answers
961 views

How do I know the proton isn't made of 3 anti-down quarks?

I have a proton, how do I know that it is made of 2 up quarks and 1 down quark or if it is made of 3 anti-down quarks, each with different color charges? This question is also applicable to the ...
7
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1answer
82 views

Very short decay: A bare quark?

I keep reading the same phrase about the very short life time of the top quark: Because the t-quark decays on a shorter than the characteristic QCD interaction-time it cannot hadronize. ...
7
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2answers
929 views

What is the difference between 'running' and 'current' quark mass?

When looking at the PDG, there is a difference between the 'running' and the 'current' quark masses. Does anyone know which is the difference between these two?
7
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0answers
287 views

Possible implications of Quark Quartet

Today on Nature's website appeared a news about the discovery of a quark quartet (formed from two quarks and two antiquarks). They say that this particle containing four quarks is confirmed. This is ...
6
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3answers
567 views

Origin of lepton/quark generations?

What theoretical explanations exist for the fact that there are three generations of leptons and quarks? I'm not so much asking why there are exactly 3 generations, but rather what makes electron, ...
6
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2answers
196 views

Could a tetraquark $q \bar{q} q \bar{q}$ be colorless?

CERN just posted this article where it informs that it was found an hadron which cannot be classified within the traditional quark model. What other models are there to explain this result? Or is it ...
6
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2answers
368 views

How quark electric charge directly have been measured?

How quarks electric charge directly have been measured when quarks never directly observed in isolation? (Due to a phenomenon known as color confinement.)
6
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1answer
150 views

Upper Mass Limit of Quark Stars

While there is no confirmation that quark stars exist, is there any theoretical limit analogous to (but different from) the Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit for neutron stars? In other words, what is ...
6
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1answer
119 views

Measuring nucleons using electron beams

sorry if the question is too elementary. From: The Britannica Guide to Particle Physics: The sizes of atoms, nuclei, and nucleons are measured by firing a beam of electrons at an appropriate target. ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Why do quarks have a fractional charge?

I am aware that evidence exists that strongly suggests the existence of quarks and do not doubt it. It is just simply really weird to me that they can have a fractional charge. While other ...
5
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4answers
910 views

If the quarks in a neutron are (up,down,down), why isn't it negatively charged?

If the quarks in a neutron are (up,down,down), why isn't it negatively charged? Excuse the silly question, just wondering.
5
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4answers
952 views

What are Quarks made of and will they ever decay to this? [duplicate]

What is it that quarks are actually made of? Will they decay into this substance? As the up and down quarks are the lightest type of quark do they not decay? I was thinking that if this could happen, ...
5
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3answers
1k views

Do quarks really exist?

Title says it all. Have they been seen in experiment or are they just theoretical things? Do quarks really exist?
5
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1answer
91 views

Could quarks be free in higher-dimensional space than 3D?

Reading this answer, I now wonder: if quarks are confined by $r^2$ potential, could their potential allow infinite motion in higher-dimensional space? To understand why I thought this might be ...
5
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2answers
883 views

If quarks didn't have mass, could protons (and neutrons) exist?

I read here (mass of a proton) that the mass of a proton is mostly (99%) due to the energy of the strong nuclear force which binds the quarks together, and not the actual mass of the quarks. My ...
5
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1answer
92 views

Quarks falling in a black hole?

All I know about quarks is that they make up protons and neutrons and you can't really pull a quark pair apart, you just end up with 2 quark pairs because of all the energy you added becomes 2 new ...
5
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0answers
109 views

Can quark-gluon plasma ever be close to an ideal gas of asymptotically free quarks?

The question inspired by an upcoming colloquim at UCB. A naive interpretation of quark asymptotic freedom seems to imply that at high enough energies they should be weakly interacting. On the other ...
4
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2answers
73 views

Do Baryons have Quantized Vibrational and Rotational States?

Given that baryons are not point particles but are composed of three quarks, are there quantized vibrational and rotational states analogous to those of molecules? If not why not, and if so are ...
4
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1answer
240 views

Does the Anti-Up, Anti-Strange, Anti-Strange Quark combination form a Baryon?

I was using this applet: http://www.lon-capa.org/~mmp/applist/q/q.htm And I saw that the up, strange, strange quark combination formed this Baryon: But the anti-up, anti-strange, anti-strange ...
4
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2answers
193 views

If nature exhibits symmetry, why don't up and down quarks have equal magnitude of electric charge?

I always hear people saying symmetry is beautiful, nature is symmetric intrinsically, physics and math show the inherent symmetry in nature et cetera, et cetera. Today I learned that half of the ...
4
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2answers
155 views

Dirac magnetic monopoles and quark fractional electric charge quantization

When applying the Dirac quantization rule for electric and magnetic charge, I assume one is considering unit electric charges such as electrons. How does the Dirac quantization rule apply for the ...
4
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2answers
87 views

Can quarks of different colors annihilate?

Wikipedia: "Antiparticles have exactly opposite additive quantum numbers from particles, so the sums of all quantum numbers of the original pair are zero." Is it possible to annihilate a ...
4
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1answer
272 views

How to count quarks using Deep Inelastic Scattering?

The Wikipedia article on deep inelastic scattering suggests that the experiment shows baryons have three point of deflections (corresponding to three quarks) and mesons have two points of deflection. ...
4
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1answer
202 views

Asymptotic Freedom - Qualitative Explanation

I am doing a (mostly qualitative) course on Particle Physics, and am confused about the concept of asymptotic freedom. The lecture notes basically say that a quark may experience no force/be "unbound" ...
4
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2answers
204 views

How can a pion have a mass, given it's a “field mediator” and created/destroyed continuously?

Maybe some of my assumptions here are basically wrong, but isn't it true that pion is the "mediator" for the strong force field. the quantum field theory basically says that there are no fields, ...
4
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1answer
706 views

How does Delta baryon decay conserve angular momentum?

I'm a chemist so bear with me: I understand the Delta baryons $\Delta^{+}$ and $\Delta^{0}$ to be in some sense spin (and isospin) quartet states of the proton and neutron. These can decay straight ...
4
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1answer
127 views

Electron Charge is 150%?

Is there a theory for why the charge of an electron is precisely 50% larger (magnitude) than a quark's? I have usually thought of this the other way around: the charge of a quark being 2/3 (or -2/3) ...
4
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1answer
172 views

Why is a pion so light compared to a neutron or proton?

A pion is made out of a pair of up and/or down quarks. A neutron or proton is three up or down quarks. So naively I'd expect a pion to be about 2/3 the mass of a nucleon. In fact it's less than 1/6 ...
4
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2answers
100 views

What reason(s) exist to suppose that all degeneracy pressures can be overcome in Black-Hole formation?

In models of stellar collapse to a black hole, it is a given that density increases without bound towards a singularity. Electron degeneracy I get. Neutron degeneracy I get. I assume there's some ...
4
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0answers
68 views

Why does strong interaction increase with distance?

I read numerous times that strong interaction increases with distance. But how can one actually derive the force-distance relation from the lagrangian (quark field + gluon field + gauge coupling)? ...
3
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2answers
87 views

What is the axial transformation of a group, i.e. $SU(3)$?

The Gell-Mann matrices $\lambda^\alpha$ are the generators of $SU(3)$. Applying an SU(3) - transformation on the triple $q = ( u , d, s )$ of 4-spinors looks like this: $$ q \rightarrow q' = e^{i ...
3
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2answers
310 views

Why there are no uuu and ddd baryons with spin 1/2?

What is preventing $Δ^{++}$ and $Δ^-$ baryons from going to a lower-energy state with spin 1/2 similar to that of protons and neutrons? I don't think the Pauli exclusion principle can prevent it ...
3
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2answers
1k views

What Quark and Anti-quark are electrically neutral Pions made out of?

A positive pion is an up and an anti-down. A negative pion is a down and an anti-up. What's a pion with an electrical charge of 0?
3
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1answer
123 views

Why did it take a long time to discover top quark?

In high school physics, I learned that it took a long time before the top quark was discovered. One of the reasons that was given in my book was that the top quark has a large mass, much larger than ...
3
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1answer
109 views

What is the $t\bar{t}$ production supposed to bring up

The $t\bar{t}$ production, I've read, that will somehow confirm the QCD and might bring up new physics. Why are we studying $t\bar{t}$ production from $p-p$ collisions at the LHC? What are we trying ...
3
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1answer
160 views

Is there a tb meson?

I was wandering around the particle date group page for meson and couldn't find a meson for top-bottom, which from symmetry you would expect. Q1: Is this because it hasn't been found? Q2: There is ...