What are quarks made of?building blocks of quarks.

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valentin68's profile pic

valentin68 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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The short answer is: Quarks are made of Strings.

The long answer:

At the beginning of the last century (between 1900-1930) modern theory of atom emerged as a consequence of Rutherford, Bohr and Schrodinger work. It was composed out of electrons, protons and neutrons. Around 1970 collision experiments showed that protons themselves were made up of quarks. A new theory to explain this feature of nature emerged. It was named the string theory, and stated that at the lowest level, all bosons (like the photon) were made of tiny one dimensional strings that are closed or open, and that oscillate in various modes. A few decades later (about 1995) the string theory developed into the superstring theory, which by postulating a supersymmetry between bosons and fermions (like the electron) succeeded to extend the string behavior (tiny oscillating strings) to all elementary particles (including quarks). Like the strings of a piano, every musical note (every mode of vibration) constitutes a different subatomic particle, having a different mass and energy. To produce all the necessary modes of vibration (of a string) that describes all the particles we know it is necessary that the strings vibrate in a 10 dimensional space.

What is beautiful in this theory is that all particles we know (electrons, mesons, quarks, photons, and even new undiscovered particles like gravitons) can be represented by the same elementary strings. Thus the theory is likely to succeed to unify all the fields we know in nature (electromagnetic, gravitational, nuclear weak and nuclear strong) and to be what is named the final theory of physics.


User Comments

etotheeyepi's profile pic

etotheeyepi | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Democritus, a Greek from Thrace, is said to have been the first person to suggest that matter is made of atoms, or small particles which are to small to be seen.  He is also said to have suggested that the atoms would be made of even smaller atoms.

Democritus appears to have been correct.  Matter is made of the atoms on the periodic chart. Those atoms are made of electrons and a nuclei. The nuclei are made of protons and neutrons, which are made of (if I understand the previous posting) quarks.

If we extrapolate, we should expect to find a particle even  smaller than quarks.

Or to paraphrase Aristotle and Stephen Hawking, mayble quarks are made of space itself.

astrosonuthird's profile pic

astrosonuthird | Student, Kindergarten | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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 But wait. Matter is made up of Molecules Molecules is made up of atoms, Atoms are made up of protons and neutrons, Protons and neutrons are made up of quarks and gluon, But quarks and gluon are made up of what material?



How it is matter makes quarks?

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jasonjohnson159 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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In physics, a quark (IPA: /kwɔrk/, IPA: /kwɑːk/ or IPA: /kwɑːrk/) is a type of subatomic particle.[1] In technical terms, quarks are elementary fermions which strongly interact due to their color charge.[2] In nature quarks are never found on their own (because of the phenomenon of color confinement): they are always bound together in composite particles named hadrons.[3] The most common hadrons are the proton and the neutron, which are the components of atomic nuclei. There are six different types of quarks, known as flavors: up (symbol: u), down (d), charm (c), strange (s), top (t), and bottom (b).[4] The lightest flavors, the up quark and the down quark, are generally stable and are very common in the universe, as they are the constituents of protons and neutrons. The more massive charm, strange, top and bottom quarks are unstable and rapidly decay; these can only be produced under high energy conditions, such as in particle accelerators and in cosmic rays. For every quark flavor there is a corresponding antiparticle, called antiquark, that differs from the quark only in that some of its properties have the opposite sign. The quark model was independently proposed by physicists Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig in 1964.[5] There was little evidence for the theory until 1968, when electron–proton scattering experiments indicated the existence of substructure within the proton resembling three "sphere-like" regions within the proton.[6][7] By 1995, when the top quark was observed at Fermilab, all the six flavors had been observed. Since quarks are not found in isolation, their properties can only be deduced from experiments on hadrons.[3] An exception to this is the top quark, which decays so rapidly that it does not produce hadrons at all, and instead is observed through the identification of the particles it has decayed into.[8] Furthermore, it has been theorized in some of the Big Bang theories, that in the very beginning, our extremely hot universe may have contained single quarks, including "free" top quarks, in a quark-gluon plasma.