Elementary Particle Facts

Please contact sureshemre at gmail for corrections or suggestions.

  • Every spin=1/2 or spin=1 particle type has an anti-particle type. In some cases (photon for example) particle and it’s anti-particle are the same. If the particle has electric charge then its anti-particle will have the opposite charge. For example, electron has -1 electric charge; the anti-electron (positron) has +1 electric charge.
  • We are discussing particle types here. We are not saying that there is an equal number of electrons and anti-electrons (positrons) in the universe. As a matter of fact, the number of positrons in the universe is far less than the number of electrons. This is a great mystery because we know that electrons in this universe were  originally created as electron-positron pairs. We know this from our observations (re-creations) in particle colliders.
  • The spin=1/2 particles are known as fermions. The fermions  (electron, muon, tau), (electron neutrino, muon neutrino, tau neutrino), (up quark, charm quark, top quark), (down quark, strange quark, bottom quark) – and their respective anti-particles – are the constituents of matter.
  • The spin=1 particles are known as gauge bosons. The spin=1 particles (photon, gluon, Z, W) are the force carriers.
  • W (+ or -) is the only gauge boson that has electric charge.
  • W and Z have non-zero rest mass. Other gauge bosons have zero rest mass.
  • There are no massless electrically charged particles in nature
  • All fermions excluding neutrinos can have either left-handed or right-handed chirality.
  • Right-chiral neutrinos have never been observed.
  • There are 3 fermion generations (flavors, families).
  • Charged leptons (fermions excluding quarks and neutrinos) do not turn into one another. Electron does not turn into muon, and muon does not turn into tau, etc. Another way of stating this law would be: tau does not decay into muon or electron; muon does not decay into electron. This means that muons do not turn into electrons directly. This statement needs to be clarified. We know that muons are unstable. Muons decay in micro-seconds. When a muon decays we see an electron plus muon-type neutrino and an electron-type antineutrino as decay products. So, we should be precise about this observation. Neutrino-less charged lepton flavor violation has never been observed. The decay process where a muon decays into 2 electrons plus a positron without any neutrinos showing up has never been observed. The decay process where muon decays into an electron plus photon has never been observed. Similarly taus decaying into muons or electrons without any neutrinos showing up have never been observed.
  • Neutrinos are very mysterious. Neutrino flavor can change. Electron neutrino can change into a muon neutrino, and a muon neutrino can change into a tau neutrino. This is known as neutrino oscillation.
  • Only left-chiral fermions experience the weak nuclear force. Only left-chiral fermions and right-chiral anti-fermions interact with the W boson.
  • Electromagnetic and strong nuclear forces are carried by massless quanta (photons and gluons, respectively). The weak nuclear force is carried by massive quanta (W and Z).
  • Weak nuclear force is not really a force; it is a “transforming interaction.” Weak nuclear “force” facilitates transformations between the first column of quarks of the table below and the second column of quarks, and the first column of leptons and the second column of leptons. In the table below the “L” signifies left-handed and “R” right-handed chirality.
  • Higgs particle has spin=0. This means that it is not a force-carrier, it is not a constituent of matter, and it is not really part of gravitation. Higgs particle is very special.

Left-handed chirality of Neutrinos: This is the key to the mysteries of elementary particles. Explanation of the left-chiral nature of neutrinos will be a breakthrough.



About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
This entry was posted in physics, science and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.