Posts tagged with quarks


Photograph of the event that led to the discovery of the Σ++ c baryon, at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1974







What is the world made of?There are twelve basic building blocks.

Six of these are quarks—- they go by the interesting names of up, down, charm, strange, bottom and top. (A proton, for instance, is made of two up quarks and one down quark.) The other six are leptons—- these include the electron and its two heavier siblings, the muon and the tauon, as well as three neutrinos.

There are four fundamental forces in the universe: gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces. Each of these is produced by fundamental particles that act as carriers of the force…: …photon…graviton…eight…gluons…three…W+, … W- , … Z.

The behavior of all of these particles and forces is described with impeccable precision by the Standard Model, with one notable exception: gravity.




43 252 003 274 489 856 000

I respect the cube. I cannot fathom it. I do not want to learn how to do it from anybody else. Instead I want to experience the simple moves that hopelessly and mercilessly turn order into disorder.  Whichever way I turn, disorder gives way to more disorder. It seems as hopeless to restore order as it is to get the spilt milk back into the jug.

—György Marx
Imagine a solved Rubik’s cube.  Now imagine just one of the corners mis-coloured. You have imagined an impossible state.
It’s impossible to twist just one corner of the cube clockwise or anticlockwise.  It’s impossible to twist just two corners of the cube clockwise or anticlockwise. The minimum change is three corners twisted clockwise, or three corners twisted anticlockwise.
Quarks are like that too. (Solomon Golomb noticed this first.)  The universe never makes just one quark alone, or just two quarks alone.  The universe only makes three quarks together all at once.  
There’s more. The universe does put a quark and an antiquark together. (Instead of making a proton or neutron this makes a “meson”).  And likewise, the cube allows a twist and an anti-twist on just two corners.
What does quantum chromodynamics have to do with Ernő Rubik's invention? There is just something similar in their group structure.  Just as a particle's baryon number must be conserved, so a similar SU(3) like property characterizes the cube. Spooky.
And. 43 252 003 274 489 856 000.
There are 43 252 003 274 489 856 000 possible arrangements of the cube, only 1 of which is correct.
43 252 003 274 489 856 000 states of disorder and 1 state of complete order. Need I say the word?  Entropy.

43 252 003 274 489 856 000

I respect the cube. I cannot fathom it. I do not want to learn how to do it from anybody else. Instead I want to experience the simple moves that hopelessly and mercilessly turn order into disorder.  Whichever way I turn, disorder gives way to more disorder. It seems as hopeless to restore order as it is to get the spilt milk back into the jug.

György Marx

Imagine a solved Rubik’s cube.  Now imagine just one of the corners mis-coloured. You have imagined an impossible state.

It’s impossible to twist just one corner of the cube clockwise or anticlockwise.  It’s impossible to twist just two corners of the cube clockwise or anticlockwise. The minimum change is three corners twisted clockwise, or three corners twisted anticlockwise.

Quarks are like that too. (Solomon Golomb noticed this first.)  The universe never makes just one quark alone, or just two quarks alone.  The universe only makes three quarks together all at once.  

There’s more. The universe does put a quark and an antiquark together. (Instead of making a proton or neutron this makes a “meson”).  And likewise, the cube allows a twist and an anti-twist on just two corners.

What does quantum chromodynamics have to do with Ernő Rubik's invention? There is just something similar in their group structure.  Just as a particle's baryon number must be conserved, so a similar SU(3) like property characterizes the cube. Spooky.

And. 43 252 003 274 489 856 000.

There are 43 252 003 274 489 856 000 possible arrangements of the cube, only 1 of which is correct.

43 252 003 274 489 856 000 states of disorder and 1 state of complete order. Need I say the word?  Entropy.