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Who Cares about Particle Physics?Making Sense of the Higgs Boson, the Large Hadron Collider and CERN$
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Pauline Gagnon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198783244

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198783244.001.0001

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What Is Matter Made Of?

What Is Matter Made Of?

(p.1) 1 What Is Matter Made Of?
Who Cares about Particle Physics?

Pauline Gagnon

Oxford University Press

What are the smallest grains of matter and how do they interact to form the matter we observe around us? This chapter explains how matter is built from a handful of tiny “bricks” called fundamental particles. Although twelve different bricks have been found, only three are needed to form all atoms found on Earth, in stars and in galaxies. The Standard Model is the current theoretical model that describes the fundamental particles and how they interact, giving us a clear representation of the material world. This model also predicts the behavior of these particles with a very high level of accuracy. Each particle comes with its own antiparticle. But why has nearly all the antimatter mysteriously disappeared from our Universe? Why are there useless bricks? These are some of the many puzzles described in this chapter that physicists are still trying to elucidate.

Keywords:   particle physics, Standard Model, CERN, Matter, Antimatter, fundamental particles, particle interaction, building bricks

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