How are quarks essential to the world around us: our possessions, our home, the people we meet?
Think of every substance you encounter on a daily basis: water, plastic, wood, etc. Now imagine that these different substances represent the different countries in the world. A substance is made up of different atoms, so imagine these atoms represent cities. Each atom is made up of electrons (the citizens, who are constantly moving) and a nucleus, the foundation of the city (houses, towers, etc.). But how are buildings put together? Surely they aren’t single-piece structures! Here’s where quarks come in, to represent the beams, furniture, and other pieces of buildings.
Quarks form what are called composite particles, the most common of which are protons and neutrons. There are six kinds of quarks, but up and down quarks are what form protons and neutrons.
1. Research: Who first proposed the quark model and when? You may use the links in the "Resources" section.
2. Research: What combinations of up and down quarks form protons and neutrons? You may use the links in the "Resources" section.
3. Research: Quarks are part of what is called the Standard Model of particle physics. Try and explore the other categories of particles in the Standard Model! You may use the links in the "Resources" section.
4. Do you think quarks can be further divided? Explain your answer.