• Particle physics

    Particle physics

    At Fermilab, a robust scientific program pursues answers to key questions about the laws of nature and the cosmos. The challenge of particle physics is to discover what the universe is made of and how it works. By building some of the largest and most complex machines in the world, Fermilab scientists expand humankind's understanding of matter, energy, space and time. Fermilab is at the forefront of research into neutrinos, ubiquitous but hard-to-catch particles that might point us to a better understanding of the first moments after the Big Bang.

    The international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, to be based at Fermilab, will be the world's largest experiment for neutrino science and proton decay studies. Fermilab is heavily involved in research at the Large Hadron Collider and serves as the U.

    particle physics

    Fermilab scientists are at the cutting edge of research in dark matter and dark energy, which helped shape the universe and will continue to guide its evolution into the future. Fermilab is a base for exploration of the fundamental particles and forces that govern our world on the smallest scales. These tiny particles, studied in world-leading Fermilab experiments, could be key to a deeper understanding of our universe.

    Learn more about neutrinos. Learn more about Fermilab and the LHC. Fermilab scientists were some of the first to bring together the worlds of astrophysics and particle physics to study topics such as dark matter and dark energy. Learn more about dark matter and dark energy. Particles called muons could help scientists see hidden or rare processes in the subatomic realm. Learn about muons at Fermilab. Experiments at Fermilab use cutting-edge accelerator and detector technology to learn the secrets of elementary particles and forces.

    Learn about more experiments at Fermilab.

    Particle Physics: an Introduction

    The advancement of particle physics research depends on the partnership between theory and experiment. Learn more about theoretical physics at Fermilab. Experimental particle physics demands state-of-the-art computing facilities and computing experts to make them work. Learn more computing at Fermilab. Fermilab has already played an important role in developing our understanding of the universe on the smallest and largest scales.

    Learn more key discoveries at Fermilab. The tools of particle physics are making a significant and lasting impact on quality of life for people around the globe. Learn about the benefits of particle physics.

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    Newsroom Spotlight Press releases Fact sheets and brochures symmetry Interactions. Dark matter and dark energy Fermilab scientists were some of the first to bring together the worlds of astrophysics and particle physics to study topics such as dark matter and dark energy. More fundamental particles and forces Experiments at Fermilab use cutting-edge accelerator and detector technology to learn the secrets of elementary particles and forces. Scientific Computing Experimental particle physics demands state-of-the-art computing facilities and computing experts to make them work.

    Key Discoveries Fermilab has already played an important role in developing our understanding of the universe on the smallest and largest scales. Benefits of Particle Physics The tools of particle physics are making a significant and lasting impact on quality of life for people around the globe.Broadly defined, particle physics aims to answer the fundamental questions of the nature of mass, energy, and matter, and their relations to the cosmological history of the Universe.

    As the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson, as well as direct evidence of cosmic inflation, have shown, there is great excitement and anticipation about the next round of compelling questions about the origin of particle masses, the nature of dark matter, and the role leptons, and in particular neutrinos, may play in the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the Universe.

    The energy scales relevant for these questions range from the TeV to perhaps the Planck scale. Experimental exploration of these questions requires advances in accelerator and detector technologies to unprecedented energy reach as well as sensitivity and precision.

    New facilities coming online in the next decade promise to open new horizons and revolutionize our view of the particle world.

    Particle theory addresses a host of fundamental questions about particles, symmetries and spacetime. As experiments at the Large Hadronic Collider LHC directly probe the TeV energy scale, questions about the origin of the weak scale and of particle masses become paramount.

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    Is this physics related to new strong forces of nature, to new underlying symmetries that relate particles of different spin, or to additional spatial dimensions that have so far remained hidden? Will this physics include the particles that constitute the dark matter of the universe, and will measurements at the LHC allow a prediction of the observed cosmological abundance? String theory remains the leading candidate for a quantum theory of gravity, but a crucial debate has emerged as to whether its predictions are unique, or whether our universe is part of a multiverse.

    All of these fundamental questions about particles and spacetime lead to corresponding questions about the early history of the universe at ever higher temperatures. The most compelling links between cosmological observations and fundamental theory involve dark matter, inflation, the cosmological baryon excess and dark energy.

    Skip to main content. Particle Physics Particle Physics Broadly defined, particle physics aims to answer the fundamental questions of the nature of mass, energy, and matter, and their relations to the cosmological history of the Universe.

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    particle physics

    Atlas Experiment. BaBar Experiment. CDF Experiment. Daya Bay Experiment. KamLand Experiment. LUX Experiment. LZ Experiment.Particle physics is a branch of physics that studies the elementary constituents of matter and radiation, and the interactions between them.

    It is also called "high energy physics", because many elementary particles do not occur under normal circumstances in nature, but can be created and detected during energetic collisions of other particles, as is done in particle accelerators. Modern particle physics research is focused on subatomic particles, which have less structure than atoms.

    Particle Physics Fundamentals

    These include atomic constituents such as electrons, protons, and neutrons protons and neutrons are actually composite particles, made up of quarksparticles produced by radiative 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 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 more technically they are described by state vectors in a Hilbert space.

    All the particles and their interactions observed to date can be described by a quantum field theory called the Standard Model. The Standard Model has 40 species of elementary particles 24 fermions, 12 vector bosons, and 4 scalarswhich can combine to form composite particles, accounting for the hundreds of other species of particles discovered since the s.

    Reference Terms. Related Stories. The technique improves the signal-to-noise ratio and A novel experimental approach could be exploited to better test the theories of What exactly it is and how it came to be is a mystery, Scientists have now revealed the connection between those two aspects, and argued that our universe could This theoretical The sensitivity of the detector -- an underground sentinel awaiting a collision that would The simulations offer a new way of examining They found Weighing in on the Origin of Heavy Elements.

    New Study Sheds Light. This new technology improves how clinicians isolate Seeing 'Under the Hood' in Batteries Apr. And it can be manufactured using conventional silicon chip This does not provide accurate information for estimating the amount of sunlight available for solar power Previous synthetic tendon grafts have led to poor outcomes and implant rejection.

    Pushing the Limits of 2D Supramolecules Apr. Most Popular Stories. What Is an Individual? Living Well. View all the latest top news in the environmental sciences, or browse the topics below:.Have you ever wondered how often you could split a grain of sand into smaller pieces? Have you asked yourself what the sky is made of?

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    Perhaps you have dreamed of traveling backwards in time? Physicists are as curious as you are. They look for answers to questions that people have pondered since they first began to wonder about the world and their place within it. You'll find some of the answers to these questions here. Explore the sections below to take a crash course in the world of particle physics.

    Particle physicists try to understand the nature of nature at the smallest scales possible. Today, we know that atoms do not represent the smallest unit of matter. Particles called quarks and leptons seem to be the fundamental building blocks — but perhaps there is something even smaller. Physicists are still far from understanding why a proton has about 2, times more mass than an electron.

    And on top of it all, scientists suspect a whole new class of undiscovered supersymmetric particles to complete the subatomic family. Learn more about the fundamentals of fundamental physics.

    Matter at the smallest scale is made of elementary particles, pieces of matter that cannot be divided into anything smaller. As scientists over the past century have looked deeper and deeper into the atom, they have found the smallest things human beings have ever seen.

    How do they do it? By using accelerators to smash particles into each other or into targets at high energies, scientists can create different, more massive and more exotic particles. They observe them in particle detectors that are stories high — large and intricate enough to capture details of these particles of matter as they pass through it.

    To analyze the oceans of data that come through the detectors, physicists develop and make use of computing capabilities with massive amounts of storage and processing power. Learn more about how scientists make new discoveries in particle physics. The current theoretical framework that describes elementary particles and their forces, known as the Standard Model, is based on experiments that started in with the discovery of the electron.The concept of fundamental, indivisible particles goes back to the ancient Greeks a concept known as "atomism".

    In the 20th century, physicists began exploring the goings on at the smallest levels of matter, and among their most startling modern discoveries was the amount of different particles in the universe.

    Quantum physics predicts 18 types of elementary particles, and 16 have already been experimentally detected. Elementary particle physics aims to find the remaining particles.

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    The Standard Model of particle physics, which classifies elementary particles into several groups, is at the core of modern physics. In this model, three of the four fundamental forces of physics are described, along with gauge bosons, the particles that mediate those forces.

    Although gravity isn't technically included in the Standard Model, theoretical physicists are working to extend the model to include and predict a quantum theory of gravity. If there's one thing that particle physicists seem to enjoy, it's dividing up particles into groups. Elementary particles are the smallest constituents of matter and energy. As far as scientists can tell, they don't seem to be made from combinations of any smaller particles. All elementary particles in physics are classified as either fermions or bosons.

    Quantum physics demonstrates that particles may have an intrinsic non-zero "spin," or angular momentumassociated with them. A fermion named after Enrico Fermi is a particle with a half-integer spin, while a boson named after Satyendra Nath Bose is a particle with an whole number or integer spin. These spins result in different mathematical applications in particular situations. Simple mathematics of adding integers and half-integers shows the following:.

    These particles make up the matter that we observe in our universe. The two basic constituents of matter are quarks and leptons. Both of these subatomic particles are fermions, so all bosons are created from an even combination of these particles. Quarks are the class of fermion that make up hadrons, such as protons and neutrons.

    Quarks are fundamental particles which interact through all four of the fundamental forces of physics: gravity, electromagnetismweak interaction, and strong interaction. Quarks always exist in combination to form subatomic particles known as hadrons. There are six distinct types of quark:.

    Leptons are a type of fundamental particle that do not experience strong interaction. There are six lepton varieties:. Each of the three "flavors" of lepton electron, muon, and tau is composed of a "weak doublet," the aforementioned particle along with a virtually massless neutral particle called a neutrino.

    Thus, the electron lepton is the weak doublet of electron and electron-neutrino. Bosons have a particle spin equal to an integer whole numbers like 1, 2, 3, and so on. These particles mediate the fundamental forces of physics under quantum field theories.

    Hadrons are particles made up of multiple bound together quarks such that their spin is a half-integer value. Hadrons are divided into mesons which are bosons and baryons which are fermions. Molecules are complex structures composed of multiple atoms bonded together.

    Particle physics

    The basic chemical building block of matter, atoms are composed of electrons, protons, and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are nucleons, the type of baryon which together form the composite particle that is the nucleus of an atom. The study of how atoms bond together to form various molecular structures is the foundation of modern chemistry. It can be hard to keep all the names straight in particle physics, so it might be helpful to think of the animal world, where such structured naming might be more familiar and intuitive.

    Humans are primates, mammals, and also vertebrates.Particle physics also known as high energy physics is a branch of physics that studies the nature of the particles that constitute matter and radiation.

    Although the word particle can refer to various types of very small objects e. By our current understanding, these elementary particles are excitations of the quantum fields that also govern their interactions.

    Particle Physics

    The currently dominant theory explaining these fundamental particles and fields, along with their dynamics, is called the Standard Model. Thus, modern particle physics generally investigates the Standard Model and its various possible extensions, e. Modern particle physics research is focused on subatomic particlesincluding atomic constituents such as electronsprotonsand neutrons protons and neutrons are composite particles called baryonsmade of quarksproduced by radioactive and scattering processes, such as photonsneutrinosand muonsas well as a wide range of exotic particles.

    Dynamics of particles is also governed by quantum mechanics ; they exhibit wave—particle dualitydisplaying particle-like behaviour under certain experimental conditions and wave -like behaviour in others. In more technical terms, they are described by quantum state vectors in a Hilbert spacewhich is also treated in quantum field theory. Following the convention of particle physicists, the term elementary particles is applied to those particles that are, according to current understanding, presumed to be indivisible and not composed of other particles.

    All particles and their interactions observed to date can be described almost entirely by a quantum field theory called the Standard Model. The Standard Model has been found to agree with almost all the experimental tests conducted to date.

    However, most particle physicists believe that it is an incomplete description of nature and that a more fundamental theory awaits discovery See Theory of Everything. In recent years, measurements of neutrino mass have provided the first experimental deviations from the Standard Model, since neutrinos are massless in the Standard Model.

    The idea that all matter is fundamentally composed of elementary particles dates from at least the 6th century BC. The early 20th century explorations of nuclear physics and quantum physics led to proofs of nuclear fission in by Lise Meitner based on experiments by Otto Hahnand nuclear fusion by Hans Bethe in that same year; both discoveries also led to the development of nuclear weapons. Throughout the s and s, a bewildering variety of particles were found in collisions of particles from increasingly high-energy beams.

    It was referred to informally as the " particle zoo ". That term was deprecated [ citation needed ] after the formulation of the Standard Model during the s, in which the large number of particles was explained as combinations of a relatively small number of more fundamental particles.

    The current state of the classification of all elementary particles is explained by the Standard Modelgaining widespread acceptance in the mids after experimental confirmation of the existence of quarks.

    It describes the strongweakand electromagnetic fundamental interactionsusing mediating gauge bosons. Early in the morning on 4 Julyphysicists with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN announced they had found a new particle that behaves similarly to what is expected from the Higgs boson.

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    Many other particle accelerators also exist. The techniques required for modern experimental particle physics are quite varied and complex, constituting a sub-specialty nearly completely distinct [ citation needed ] from the theoretical side of the field.

    Theoretical particle physics attempts to develop the models, theoretical framework, and mathematical tools to understand current experiments and make predictions for future experiments see also theoretical physics.

    There are several major interrelated efforts being made in theoretical particle physics today. One important branch attempts to better understand the Standard Model and its tests. By extracting the parameters of the Standard Model, from experiments with less uncertainty, this work probes the limits of the Standard Model and therefore expands our understanding of nature's building blocks.A new look at old data suggests that an odd X-ray glow that emanates from some galaxies cannot come from decaying dark matter.

    particle physics

    Atoms of antihydrogen are affected by the Lamb shift, which results from transient particles appearing and disappearing. Future particle accelerators could slam muons together to reach higher energies than any before. These subatomic particles could make up dark matter in the cosmos.

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    A mathematically similar phenomenon occurs in a solid material. His former life as a Halo video gamer helps fuel that devotion. A botched attempt at producing radioactive material needed for a neutrino experiment may have released ruthenium to the atmosphere in The fact that no one has been killed by shots of dark matter suggests the mysterious substance is relatively small and light. Not a subscriber?

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    By Lisa Grossman March 26, Particle Physics Particles called axions could reveal how matter conquered the universe By Emily Conover March 24, Particle Physics Physicists have narrowed the mass range for hypothetical dark matter axions By Emily Conover March 6, More Stories in Particle Physics Particle Physics Antimatter hydrogen has the same quantum quirk as normal hydrogen Atoms of antihydrogen are affected by the Lamb shift, which results from transient particles appearing and disappearing. By Emily Conover February 19, Physics A barrier to colliding particles called muons has been smashed Future particle accelerators could slam muons together to reach higher energies than any before.

    By Emily Conover February 5, By Emily Conover February 4, By Emily Conover November 25, Physics Physicists have found quasiparticles that mimic hypothetical dark matter axions These subatomic particles could make up dark matter in the cosmos. By Emily Conover October 15, By Emily Conover September 18, By Lisa Grossman September 18, Particle Physics How a radioactive plume may be tied to Russia and nixed neutrino research A botched attempt at producing radioactive material needed for a neutrino experiment may have released ruthenium to the atmosphere in By Emily Conover July 29, If they could, they would have already The fact that no one has been killed by shots of dark matter suggests the mysterious substance is relatively small and light.

    By Lisa Grossman July 25,


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