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Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Subatomic particles

Subatomic particles

The Standard Model of Physics.
Modern particle physics research is focused on subatomic particles, including atomic constituents such as electrons, protons, and neutrons (protons and neutrons are actually composite particles called baryons, made of quarks), particles produced by radioactive and scattering processes, such as photons, neutrinos, and muons, as well as a wide range of exotic particles. Strictly speaking, the term particle is a misnomer from classical physics because the dynamics of particle physics are governed by quantum mechanics. As such, they exhibit wave-particle duality, displaying particle-like behavior under certain experimental conditions and wave-like behavior in others. In more technical terms, they are described by quantum state vectors in a Hilbert space, which is also treated in quantum field theory. Following the convention of particle physicists, elementary particles refer to objects such as electrons and photons as it is well known that these types of particles display wave-like properties as well.

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