what exactly are quarks and how do we know they exist?

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what exactly are quarks and how do we know they exist?

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4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Quarks are what make up atomic particles. ie quarks are what make electrons, neutrons, and protons.

How do we know they exist? Because we smashed some electrons into some neutrons and protons in a particle accelerator, and when we smashed them together new, smaller stuff, came out. We’ve identified 6 different kinds of quarks.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Once scientists learned they could accelerate electrons (the essence of electricity) and point them at materials they saw it did something. 

Their tools and experiments and measurements got better and were able to smash hydrogen and helium nuclei at things like gold leaf and saw things happen. 

Then they get really really good at smashing things together. But now they were seeing other stuff flying out. In the intense magnetic fields contained these smashing they saw particles *lighter* than even a proton! Wild eh?

They then found patterns in their properties (like scientists did 100+ years before with elements) and figured out these were what protons and neutrons were made of. 

For fun they called them quarks because at this point who cares. No human will ever “feel” these things. 

As of today we’ve tried smashing things, all kinds of things, and very very insanely high energies and have not been able to “break part” quarks. 

Anonymous 0 Comments

Quarks are fundamental particles (meaning that they aren’t made up of anything smaller as far as we know) that make up protons and neutrons (although sometimes they take other configurations. There are 6 different types of quarks. Physicists first proposed that they existed in the 1960’s, and they were discovered not long after in particle accelerators. Basically, the particle accelerators smash particles together and looked at what happened, and discovered that protons and neutrons were made of smaller particles.

Anonymous 0 Comments

If it helps to hear it explained in song form, Strange Charm by Hank Green.