In physics, a quark (IPAEng|kwɔrk, IPAEng|kwɑːk or IPAEng|kwɑːrk) is a type of subatomic particle. [cite web |title=Fundamental Particles |publisher=Oxford Physics |url=http://www.physics.ox.ac.uk/documents/pUS/dIS/fundam.htm |accessdate=2008-06-29] Quarks are elementary fermionic particles which strongly interact due to their color charge. [cite web |title=Quark (subatomic particle) |publisher=Encyclopedia Britannica |url=http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/486323/quark |accessdate=2008-06-29] Due to the phenomenon of color confinement, quarks are never found on their own: they are always bound together in composite particles named hadrons. The most common hadrons are the proton and the neutron, which are the components of atomic nuclei.

There are six different types of quarks, known as "flavors": up (symbol: SubatomicParticle|Up quark), down (SubatomicParticle|Down quark), charm (SubatomicParticle|Charm quark), strange (SubatomicParticle|Strange quark), top (SubatomicParticle|Top quark), and bottom (SubatomicParticle|Bottom quark).cite web |title=Quarks |publisher=HyperPhysics |url=http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Particles/quark.html |accessdate=2008-06-29] The lightest flavors, the up quark and the down quark, are generally stable and are very common in the universe as they are the constituents of protons and neutrons. The more massive charm, strange, top and bottom quarks are unstable and rapidly decay; these can only be produced as quark-pairs under high energy conditions, such as in particle accelerators and in cosmic rays. For every quark flavor there is a corresponding antiparticle, called an antiquark, that differs from quarks only in that some of their properties have the opposite sign.

The quark model was independently proposed by physicists Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig in 1964.cite journal|title=Discovery of the Top Quark |author=B. Carithers, P. Grannis |url=http://www.slac.stanford.edu/pubs/beamline/25/3/25-3-carithers.pdf |accessdate=2008-09-23] There was little evidence for the theory until 1968, when electron-proton scattering experiments indicated the existence of substructure within the proton resembling three 'sphere-like' regions within the proton.cite journal |title=High-Energy Inelastic "e"-"p" Scattering at 6° and 10° |year=1969 |author=E. D. Bloom |journal=Physical Review Letters |volume=23 |pages=p.930 |doi=10.1103/PhysRevLett.23.930] cite journal |title=Observed Behavior of Highly Inelastic Electron-Proton Scattering |year=1969 |author=M. Breidenbach |journal=Physical Review Letters |volume=23 |pages=p.935 |doi=10.1103/PhysRevLett.23.935] By 1995, when the top quark was observed at Fermilab, all the six flavors had been observed. Since quarks are not found in isolation, their properties can only be deduced from experiments on hadrons. An exception to this rule is the top quark, which decays so rapidly that it does not produce hadrons at all, and instead is observed through the identification of the particles it has decayed into.


The quark theory was first postulated by physicists Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig in 1964. At the time of the theory's initial proposal, the "particle zoo" consisted of several leptons and many different hadrons. Gell-Mann and Zweig developed the quark theory to explain the hadrons; they proposed that various combinations of quarks and antiquarks were the components of the hadrons, which were at the time considered to be indivisible.cite book |title=The Evidence for the Top Quark |year=2004 |author=K.W. Staley |publisher=Cambridge University Press |isbn=0521827108 |pages=p.15]

The Gell-Mann–Zweig model predicted three quarks, which they named "up", "down" and "strange" (SubatomicParticle|Up quark, SubatomicParticle|Down quark, SubatomicParticle|Strange quark). At the time, the pair of physicists ascribed various properties and values to the three new proposed particles, such as electric charge and spin.cite web |title=Funny Quarks |publisher=CERN |url=http://pdg.web.cern.ch/pdg/cpep/quark_fun.html |accessdate=2008-09-24] The initial reaction of the physics community to the proposal was mixed, many having reservations regarding the actual physicality of the quark concept. They believed the quark was merely an abstract concept that could be used temporarily to help explain certain concepts that were not well understood, rather than an actual entity that existed in the way that Gell-Mann and Zweig had envisioned.

In less than a year, extensions to the Gell-Mann–Zweig model were proposed when another duo of physicists, Sheldon Lee Glashow and James Bjorken, predicted the existence of a fourth flavor of quark, which they referred to as "charm" (SubatomicParticle|Charm quark). The addition was proposed because it expanded the power and self consistency of the theory: it allowed a better description of the weak interaction (the mechanism that allows quarks to decay); equalized the number of quarks with the number of known leptons; and implied a mass formula that correctly reproduced the masses of the known mesons. [cite journal |year=1964 |author=B. J. Bjorken, S. L. Glashow |journal=Physics Letters |volume=11 |pages=p.255 |title=Elementary Particles and SU(4) |doi=10.1016/0031-9163(64)90433-0]

In 1968, deep inelastic scattering experiments at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center showed that the proton had substructure. [cite web |title=The Road to the Nobel Prize |publisher=Hue University |author=J.I. Friedman |url=http://www.hueuni.edu.vn/hueuni/en/news_detail.php?NewsID=1606&PHPSESSID=909807ffc5b9c0288cc8d137ff063c72 |accessdate=2008-09-29] However, whilst the concept of hadron substructure had been proven, there was still apprehension towards the quark model: the substructures became known at the time as partons, (a term proposed by Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman, and supported by some experimental project reports [Richard P. Feynman, "Proceedings of the 3rd Topical Conference on High Energy Collision of Hadrons", Stony Brook, N. Y. (1969) ] , [CTEQ Collaboration, S. Kretzer et al., "CTEQ6 Parton Distributions with Heavy Quark Mass Effects", Phys. Rev. D69, 114005 (2004).] ), but it "was unfashionable to identify them explicitly with quarks".cite book |author=D. J. Griffiths |title=Introduction to Elementary Particles |publisher=John Wiley & Sons |year=1987 |isbn=0-471-60386-4 |pages=p.42] These partons were later identified as up and down quarks. [cite book |title=The God Particle |author=L. M. Lederman, D. Teresi |pages=p.208 |year=2006 |publisher=Mariner Books |isbn=0618711686] Their discovery also validated the existence of a third strange quark, because it was necessary to the model Gell-Mann and Zweig had proposed. [cite web|url=http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/21st_century_science/short_history_of_particles.html|title=Short History of Particles|first=James|last=Schombert|publisher=University of Oregon|accessdate=5 October|accessyear=2008]

In a 1970 paper, [cite journal |author=S. L. Glashow, J. Iliopoulos, L. Maiani |title=Weak Interactions with Lepton-Hadron Symmetry |journal=Physical Review D |year=1970 |url=http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PRD/v2/i7/p1285_1 |accessdate=2008-09-29|doi=10.1103/PhysRevD.2.1285 |volume=2 |pages=1285] Glashow, John Iliopoulos, and Luciano Maiani gave more compelling theoretical arguments for the as-yet undiscovered charm quark. [cite book |author=D. J. Griffiths |title=Introduction to Elementary Particles |publisher=John Wiley & Sons |year=1987 |isbn=0-471-60386-4 |pages=p.44] The number of proposed quark flavors grew to the current six in 1973, when Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa noted that the experimental observation of CP violation could be explained if there were another pair of quarks. They named the two additional quarks "top" (SubatomicParticle|Top quark) and "bottom" (SubatomicParticle|Bottom quark).

It was the observation of the charm quark that finally convinced the physics community of the quark model's correctness. Following a decade without empirical evidence supporting the flavor's existence, it was created and observed almost simultaneously by two teams in November 1974: one at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center under Samuel Ting and one at Brookhaven National Laboratory under Burton Richter. The two parties had assigned the discovered particle two different names, J and ψ. The particle hence became formally known as the J/ψ meson and it was considered a quark–antiquark pair of the charm flavor that Glashow and Bjorken had predicted, or the charmonium.

In 1977, the bottom quark was observed by Leon Lederman and a team at Fermilab. This indicated that a top quark probably existed, because the bottom quark was without a partner. However, it was not until eighteen years later, in 1995, that the top quark was finally observed. The top quark's discovery was quite significant, because it proved to be far more massive than expected, almost as heavy as a gold atom. Reasons for the top quark's extremely large mass remain unclear.cite web |title=New Precision Measurement of Top Quark Mass |publisher=Brookhaven National Laboratory News |url=http://www.bnl.gov/bnlweb/pubaf/pr/PR_display.asp?prID=04-66 |accessdate=2008-09-24]


Gell-Mann originally named the quark after the sound ducks make. [cite book |title=Richard Feynman: A Life in Science |author=J. Gribbin, M. Gribbin |publisher=Penguin Books |year=1997 |pages=p.194 |isbn=ISBN 0-452-27631-4] For some time, Gell-Mann was undecided on an actual spelling for the term he had coined, until he found the word "quark" in James Joyce's book "Finnegans Wake":epigraph|quote=Three quarks for Muster Mark!
Sure he has not got much of a bark
And sure any he has it's all beside the mark.
cite=James Joyce, "Finnegans Wake"

Gell-Mann went into further detail regarding the name of the quark in his book, "The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex", saying that the pronunciation for "quark" had been derived from "quart", which fitted perfectly with the three-quark theory in that one might have "three quarts of drinks at a bar."cite book |author=M. Gell-Mann |title=The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex |publisher=Owl Books |year=1995 |pages=p.180 |isbn=978-0805072532] George Zweig, the co-proposer of the theory, preferred the name "ace" for the particle he had theorized, but Gell-Mann's terminology came to prominence once the quark model had been commonly accepted. [cite book|last=Gleick|first=J.|title=Richard Feynman and modern physics|year=1992|publisher=Little Brown and Company|isbn=0-316-903167|pages=390]



Quarks come in six types, or "flavors". [cite book |title=The Quantum World |author=K. W. Ford |publisher=Harvard University Press |year=2005 |pages=p.169 |isbn=067401832X ] This term has nothing to do with the typical human experience of flavor, but is an arbitrarily named property that comes from a simple everyday word that is easy to comprehend and work with.cite book |title=Knowing |author=M. Munowitz |publisher=Oxford University Press (US) |year=2005 |isbn=0195167376 |pages=p.35]

The six flavors are named "up", "down", "charm", "strange", "top" and "bottom"; the top and bottom flavors are also known as "truth" and "beauty", respectively.cite book |title=Elementary Particles and Their Interactions: Concepts and Phenomena |author=Q. Ho-Kim, X.-Y. Phạm |publisher=Springer |year=1998 |pages=p.169 |isbn=3540636676] Typically, only the stable up and down flavors are in common natural occurrence; heavier quarks can only be created in high-energy conditions, such as in cosmic rays, and quickly decay into lighter quarks and other particles. Most studies conducted on heavier quarks have been performed in artificially-created conditions such as in particle accelerators.

Flavors are grouped into three generations: the first generation comprises up and down quarks, the second comprises charm and strange, and the third comprises top and bottom. Quarks of higher generations have greater masses and thus are generally less stable than quarks of lower generations. Leptons are similarly divided into three generations.

For every quark flavor, there is a corresponding antiquark (denoted by the letter for the quark with an overbar, for example SubatomicParticle|Up antiquark for an up antiquark). Much like antimatter in general, antiquarks have the same mass and spin of their respective quarks, but the electric charge and other charges have the opposite sign. [cite book |title=Zero to Infinity |author=P. Rowlands |pages=p.406 |publisher=World Scientific |year=2008 |isbn=9812709142] Various quark flavor combinations result in the formation of composite particles known as hadrons. There are two types of hadrons: baryons (made of three quarks) and mesons (made of a quark and an antiquark). The building blocks of the atomic nucleus—the proton and the neutron—are baryons. There are a great number of known hadrons, and most of them are differentiated by their quark content and the properties that these constituent quarks confer upon them.

See the table of properties below for a more complete analysis of the six quark flavors' properties.

Weak interaction

A quark of one flavor can transform, or decay, into a quark of a different flavor by the weak interaction. A quark can decay into a lighter quark by emitting a W boson, or can absorb a W boson to turn into a heavier quark. This mechanism causes the radioactive process known as beta decay, in which a neutron "splits" into a proton, an electron and an antineutrino. This occurs when one of the down quarks in the neutron (composed by SubatomicParticle|up quarkSubatomicParticle|down quarkSubatomicParticle|down quark) decays into an up quark by emitting a SubatomicParticle|W boson- boson, transforming the neutron into a proton (SubatomicParticle|up quarkSubatomicParticle|up quarkSubatomicParticle|down quark). The SubatomicParticle|W boson- boson then decays into an electron (SubatomicParticle|Electron) and an electron antineutrino (SubatomicParticle|Electron antineutrino). [cite web |title=Weak Interactions |url=http://www2.slac.stanford.edu/vvc/theory/weakinteract.html |accessdate = 2008-09-28 |year=2008 |work=Virtual Visitor Center |publisher=Stanford Linear Accelerator Center |location=Menlo Park, CA]

Electric charge

A quark has a fractional (i.e., "non-integer") charge value, either −1/3 or +2/3 (measured in elementary charges); correspondingly, the charge of an antiquark can be either +1/3 or −2/3. The up, charm and top quarks all have charge of +2/3, while the down, strange and bottom quarks have −1/3. The electrical charge of a hadron is determined by the sum of the charges of the constituent quarks; [cite book |title=Particles and Nuclei |year=2004 |author=B. Povh, K. Rith, C. Scholz, F. Zetsche, M. Lavelle |publisher=Springer |isbn=3540201688 |oclc=53001447] , but the total is always an integer, even for the quark pairs that are detected in high-energy physics experiments.

The electric charge of quarks is important in the construction of nuclei. The hadron constituents of the atom, the neutron and proton, have charges of 0 and +1 respectively; the neutron is composed of two down quarks and one up quark, and the proton of two up quarks and one down quark. The total electric charge of a nucleus, that is, the number of protons in it, is known as the atomic number, and it is the main difference between atoms of different chemical elements. Atoms usually have as many electrons as protons; since the electric charge of an electron is −1, the net electric charge of an atom is typically 0. When this is not the case, the atom is ionized. [cite book |author=W. Demtröder |year=2002 |title=Atoms, Molecules and Photons: An Introduction to Atomic- Molecular- and Quantum Physics |publisher=Springer |edition=1st Edition |isbn=3540206310 |pages=39–42]


The term "spin" denotes a specific, intrinsic (quantum) property of quantum particles which is only observed in the presence of field gradients, such as either magnetic or gravitational, and is precisely defined by its symmetry properties, as coorectly specified, for example, by the Pauli (spin) matrices. This intrinsic property is thus found also in quarks. The spin property is measured in units of "h"/(2π), where "h" is the Planck constant. This unit is often denoted by "ħ", and called the "reduced Planck constant" (or sometimes the "Dirac constant"). The component of the spin of a quark along any axis is always either "ħ"/2 or −"ħ"/2; for this reason quarks are classified as spin-1/2 particles, or fermions. [cite book |title=The New Cosmic Onion |author=F. Close |pages=p.82 |publisher=CRC Press |year=2006 |isbn=1584887982]

In the case of quarks, as in the case of all fermions, one uses up arrows ↑ and down arrows ↓ for the spin eigenvalue of either +1/2 or −1/2, respectively. On the other hand, the flavor of a quark is first denoted using the first character of the flavor name, followed by either ↑ or ↓ to signify the values of +1/2 or −1/2, respectively. For example, an up quark with a positive spin of 1/2 along a given axis would be denoted u↑. [cite book |title=Understanding the Universe |author=D. Lincoln |publisher=World Scientific |pages=p.116 |year=2004 |isbn=9812387056] The quark's spin value contributes to the overall spin of the parent hadron, much as quark's electrical charge does to the overall charge of the hadron. Varying combinations of quark spins result in the total spin value that can be assigned to the hadron. [cite web |title=Quarks |publisher=Antonine Education |url=http://www.antonine-education.co.uk/Physics_AS/Module_1/Topic_5/quarks.htm |accessdate=2008-07-10] However, one notes, that this view has been recently challenged in Quantum Chromodynamics by theories that include vacuum polarization and the coupling of quark hadrons to strange quarks in the vacuum.


In addition to the electric charge, quarks carry another type of 'charge' called "color charge". Despite its name, "color charge" is not related to either to the color of visible light or identified with the "electrical" charge which has a very different symmetry. [cite book |title=Cosmology, Physics, and Philosophy |author=B. Gal-Or |publisher=Springer |year=1983 |isbn=0387905812 |pages=p.276] There are three types of color charge a quark can carry, named "blue", "green" and "red"; each of them is complemented by an anti-color: "antiblue", "antigreen" and "antired", respectively. While a quark can have red, green or blue charge, an antiquark can have antired, antigreen, or antiblue charge.

The system of attraction and repulsion between quarks charged with any of the three colors (called strong interaction, and described by quantum chromodynamics) is as follows: a quark charged with one color value will be attracted to an antiquark carrying with the corresponding anticolor, while three quarks all charged with differing colors will similarly be forced together. In any other case, a force of repulsion will come into effect. [cite book |title=The Moment of Creation |author=J. S. Trefil, G. Walters |pages=p.112 |publisher=Courier Dover Publications |year=2004 |isbn=0486438139] Quarks undergo such color interactions via the exchange of quantum field carrier particles known as
gluons, a concept which is further discussed below.

In the process called 'hadronization' the role played by the three color types becomes evident. The result of two attracting quarks that form a 'stable' quark-antiquark pair will be color neutrality: a quark with "n" color charge plus an antiquark of −"n" color charge will result in a color charge of 0, or "white". The combination of all three color charges (called "red", "blue", "green", or 'rgb') will similarly result in the cancelling out of color charge, yielding the same "white" color charge as in the previous case of the interaction between the quark and antiquark of opposite charge colors. These two methods of color neutral hadronization are the same as the two ways in which all hadrons are formed (all 'stable' hadrons must be color neutral); a meson, comprised of two particles, is the result of the binding of a quark and antiquark that have opposite color charges, whereas a baryon, containing three particles, arises from the hadronization of three quarks, all charged with different colors. [cite book |title=Deep Down Things |author=B. A. Schumm |pages=p.131–132 |publisher=JHU Press |year=2004 |isbn=080187971X |oclc=55229065]


There are two different terms used when describing a quark's mass; "current quark mass" refers to the mass of a quark by itself, while "constituent quark mass" refers to the current quark mass plus the mass of the gluon particle field surrounding the quark. [cite book |title=The Quantum Quark |author=A. Watson |pages=p.286 |publisher=Cambridge University Press |year=2004 |isbn=0521829070] These two values are typically very different in their relative size, for several reasons.

In a hadron most of the mass comes from the gluons that bind the constituent quarks together, rather than from the individual quarks; the mass of the quarks is almost negligible compared to the mass derived from the gluons' energy. While gluons are inherently massless, they possess energy, and it is this energy that contributes so greatly to the overall mass of the hadron. This is demonstrated by a common hadron–the proton. Composed of one SubatomicParticle|down quark and two SubatomicParticle|up quark quarks, the proton has an overall mass of approximately 938 MeV/c2, of which the three quarks contribute around 15 MeV/c2, with the remainder of 923 MeV coming from the quantum chromodynamic binding energy (QCBE) provided by the gluon field. [cite book |title=Quarks and Nuclei |author=W. Weise, A. M. Green |pages=p.65 |publisher=World Scientific |year=1984 |isbn=9971966611] This makes direct calculations of quark masses based on quantum chromodynamics quite difficult, and often unreliable, as quantum perturbation methods (that were very successful in QED) fail most of the times. Often, mass values can be derived after calculating the difference in mass between two related hadrons that have opposing or complementary quark components; for example, the proton to the neutron, where the difference between the two is one down quark to one up quark, the relative masses and the mass differences of which can then be measured by the difference in the overall mass of the two hadrons.

The masses of most quarks were within predicted ranges at the time of their discovery, with the notable exception of the top quark, which was found to have a mass approximately equal to that of a gold nucleus, around 200 times heavier than the hadron it was thought to form. [cite web|title=The Top Quark: Worth its Weight in Gold |author=F. Canelli |url=http://conferences.fnal.gov/lp2003/forthepublic/topquark/index.html |publisher=University of Rochester |accessdate=2008-10-24] Various theories have been offered to explain this very large mass; common predictions assert that the answer to the abnormality will be found when more is known about the top quark's interaction with the Higgs (boson) field, and how the Higgs boson field adds very heavily to the total mass, and might also bring about the very existence of 'mass'.

Table of quark properties

The following table summarizes the key properties of the six known quarks:

Color confinement and gluons

A key phenomenon called "color confinement" is thought to keep quarks within a hadron. This refers to a quark's inability to escape as a single particle from its parent hadron, thereby rendering impossible the actual observation of a single quark. Color confinement applies to all quarks, except for the case of the top quark where the actual escape mechanism at extremely high energies is still uncertain. Therefore, most of what is known experimentally about quarks has been inferred indirectly from the effects they have on their parent hadron's properties. [cite book|title=Relativistic quantum mechanics and quantum fields|author=T. Wu, W.-Y. Pauchy Hwang |pages=p. 321 |publisher=World Science |year=1991 |isbn=9810206089] [cite book |title=100 Years Werner Heisenberg: Works and Impact |last=D. Papenfuss, D. Lüst, W. Schleich |year=2002 |publisher=Wiley-VCH |isbn=3527403922 |oclc=50694495] The top quark is an exception because its lifetime is so short that it does not have a chance to hadronize.cite conference|title=Top Quark Mass and Cross Section Results from the Tevatron|author=F. Garberson |conference= Hadron Collider Physics Symposium (HCP2008), Galena, Illinois, USA |year=2008|url= http://arxiv.org/abs/0808.0273] One method used is comparing two hadrons that have all but one quark in common, the properties of the different quark are inferred from the difference in values between the two hadrons. Color confinement is primarily caused by interactions with the gluon color field and the gluon exchange between quarks.

Quarks have an inherent relationship with the gluon, which is technically a massless vector gauge boson. Gluons are responsible for the color field, or the strong interaction, that ensures that quarks remain bound in hadrons and instigates color confinement, and are the subjects of the quantum chromodynamics research area. [cite book |title=Electroweak Interactions |author=P. Renton |publisher=Cambridge University Press |year=1988 |isbn=0521366925 |pages=332] Gluons, roughly speaking, carry both a color charge and an anti-color charge, for example red–antiblue. [cite book |title=Astroparticle Physics|author=C. Grupen, G. Cowan, S. D. Eidelman, T. Stroh |publisher=Springer |year=2005 |pages=p.26 |isbn=3540253122] [cite web |title=Why are there eight gluons and not nine? |author=J. Bottomley, J. Baez |url=http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/ParticleAndNuclear/gluons.html |accessdate=2008-09-28 |year=1996 |work=Usenet Physics FAQ]

Gluons are constantly exchanged between quarks through a "virtual" emission and re-absorption process, (somewhat similar to the process of virtual photon exchanges between an electron and a proton, that is, however, much better understood in QED, "viz". Richard Feynman). These gluon exchange events between quarks are extremely frequent, occurring approximately 1024 times every second. [cite book |title=World in Process |author=J. A. Jungerman |publisher=SUNY Press |year=2000 |pages=p.107 |isbn=0791447499] When a gluon is transferred between one quark and another, a color change comes into effect in the receiving and emitting quark.cite book |title=Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics |author=M. Veltman |publisher=World Scientific |year=2003 |pages=p.46 |isbn=981238149X] [cite book |title=Fantastic Realities |author=F. Wilczek, B. Devine |pages=p.85 |publisher=World Scientific |year=2006 |isbn=981256649X] These constant switches in color within quarks are mediated by the gluons in such a way that a bound hadron will constantly retain a dynamic and ever-changing set of color types that will preserve the force of attraction, therefore forever disallowing quarks to exist in isolation.cite book |title=Out of this World |author=S. Webb |publisher=Springer |year=2004 |isbn=0387029303 |pages=p.91]

The color field, that the gluon is a carrier of, contributes most significantly to a hadron's 'indivisibility' into single quarks, or color confinement. This is demonstrated by the varying strength of the chromodynamic binding 'force' between the constituent quarks of a hadron; as quarks come closer to each other, the chromodynamic binding 'force' actually weakens (this is called asymptotic freedom), but while they drift further apart, the strength of the bind dramatically increases. This is because as the color field is stressed by the drifting away of a quark, much as an elastic band is stressed when pulled apart, a proportionate and necessary multitude of gluons of appropriate color property are created to strengthen the stretched field. In this way, an infinite amount of energy would be required to wrench a quark from its hadronized state. [cite book |title=Origin |author=T.Yulsman |publisher=CRC Press |year=2002 |isbn=075030765X|pages=55]

These strong interactions are highly non-linear, because gluons can emit gluons and exchange gluons with other gluons. This property has led to a postulate regarding the possible existence of a particle that is purely a 'gluon', that is —a glueball—despite previous observations indicating that gluons cannot exist without the 'attached' quarks, and also in violation of the deBroglie quantum mechanism as applied to gluon color fields. The 'glueball' postulate amounts to denying the existence of gluon color fields and of the color confinement mechanism discussed above [cite book |title='96 Electroweak Interactions and Unified Theories |author=J. T. V Tran |pages=p.60 |publisher=Atlantica Séguier Frontières |year=1996 |isbn=2863322052]

'Sea' quarks

The quarks that make up the 'core' of any hadron are called "valence quarks". These quarks are generally stable, and are the quarks that contribute to the quantum numbers of their hadrons. However, from the gluons' strong interaction field are born short-lived, virtual quark–antiquark (SubatomicParticle|quarkSubatomicParticle|antiquark) pairs, known as "sea quarks". These sea quarks are much less stable, and they annihilate each other very quickly within the interior of the hadron. They are born from the splitting of a gluon, but when the sea quark is annihilated, new gluons are produced. [cite book |title=Learning about Particles |author=J. Steinberger |publisher=Springer |year=2005 |isbn=3540213295 |pages=p.130] There is a constant quantum flux of sea quarks that are born from the vacuum, and this allows for a constant cycle of gluon splits and rebirths. This flux is colloquially known as "the sea". [cite book|title=Elementary-particle Physics|author=National Research Council (U.S.). Elementary-Particle Physics Panel|pages=62|publisher=National Academies Press|year=1986|isbn=0309035767]


Further reading

*cite book |authorlink= David Griffiths (physicist)|author= D. J. Griffiths |title=Introduction to Elementary Particles |publisher=John Wiley & Sons |year=1987 |isbn=0-471-60386-4
*cite book |authorlink= Andrew Pickering|author= A. Pickering |title=Constructing Quarks: A Sociological History of Particle Physics |publisher=The University of Chicago Press |year=1984 |isbn=0-226-66799-5
*cite book |author= B. Povh |title=Particles and Nuclei: An Introduction to the Physical Concepts |publisher=Springer-Verlag |year=1995 |isbn=0-387-59439-6

External links

* [http://books.nap.edu/books/0309048931/html/245.html A Positron Named Priscilla] – A description of CERN’s experiment to count the families of quarks.
* [http://www.scribd.com/word/view/1025 An elementary popular introduction]
* [http://pdg.lbl.gov/quarkdance/ Quark dance]
* [http://www.bartleby.com/61/67/Q0016700.html The original English word "quark" and its adaptation to particle physics]

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  • Quark t — Quark top Quark top Propriétés générales Classification Fermion Composition Élémentaire Propriétés physiques Masse 170,9 ± 1,8 GeV.c 2 Charge électrique ⅔ e Spin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Quark d — Quark down Quark down Propriétés générales Classification Fermion Composition Élémentaire Propriétés physiques Masse 4 à 8 MeV.c 2 Charge électrique ⅓ e Spin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Quark u — Quark up Quark up Propriétés générales Classification Fermion Composition Élémentaire Propriétés physiques Masse 1,5 à 4 MeV.c 2 Charge électrique ⅔ e Spin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Quark b — Quark bottom Quark bottom Propriétés générales Classification Fermion Composition Élémentaire Propriétés physiques Masse 4 GeV.c 2 Charge électrique ⅓ e Spin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Quark s — Quark strange Quark strange Propriétés générales Classification Fermion Composition Élémentaire Propriétés physiques Masse 80 à 130 MeV.c 2 Charge électrique ⅓ e Spin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Quark up — Propriétés générales Classification Fermion Composition Élémentaire Groupe Quark Génération Première Interaction(s) Forte, faible, électromagnétique, gravitation Symbole u …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Quark c — Quark charm Quark charm Propriétés générales Classification Fermion Composition Élémentaire Propriétés physiques Masse 1,3 GeV.c 2 Charge électrique ⅔ e Spin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • QUARK — (PARTON) En 1964, M. Gell Mann et G. Zweig ont proposé que les hadrons, c’est à dire le proton, le neutron, le pion et toutes les autres particules participant aux interactions fortes, sont bâtis à partir d’entités élémentaires, appelées «quarks» …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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