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Q & A: Quarks and flavors

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Most recent answer: 05/15/2008
Q:
I have been researchng flavors, and I am a bit confused... Quarks are flavors, and quarks make up a number of other subatomic particles - so are these subatomic particles also flavors? Also, could you direct me to a reliable source which would have a good (and in depth) image of the atomic nucleus? Thank-you :)
- Anonymous
Australia
A:
Both of these terms are a bit whimsical, but that's beside the point.  Quarks are alleged  to be the fundamental constituents of many elementary particles, such as the proton and neutron as well as pi and K mesons.    The quarks supposedly  come in three varieties, called flavors, call  them red, green, and blue, or Sam, Joe and Sally, or whatever. Anti-quarks also are presumed to exist.   Curiously enough, no one has ever seen a real, live quark! It took the theorists a long time to figure that one out.   We still believe that they exist because the quark theory predicts so much of the observed structure of the spectrum of particles seen in collisions at high energy accelerators. Wikipedia has a nice article on quarks:    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark
as well one on the nucleus:     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_nucleus

LeeH

(published on 05/15/2008)

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