Posted on January 19, 2019
Today's a celebration of quarks??!?
Oh, frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Quarks are some of my favorite sub-atomic particles!!!
But as I did research to find out why today is Quark Day, I realized something dreadful:
We aren't celebrating quarks, the six flavors of fundamental particles that make up protons, neutrons, and other hadrons...Instead...
Instead, today's supposed to be about quark, a very soft cheese or a very thick yogurt or (at any rate) some sort of dairy product! It's made by adding lactic acid to milk; the whey splits from the curd, and the solids that come from this process are turned into quark.
Quark is supposed to be like a smoother, creamier cottage cheese. It's neither sweet nor sour, and almost all quark is sold without any added sugar / other sweetener (yogurt is often sweetened) nor any added salt (most cheese has added salt). Because of that, quark is supposed to be healthier than many other dairy products.
But...but...that's enough on quark-the-food! What about quarks-some-of-my-favorite-sub-atomic-particles?
The six flavors of quarks are up, down, top, bottom, charm, and strange.
|Note that every flavor of quark has a corresponding anti-particle.|
Two downs and one up quark are said to make a neutron. (But...)
The "But..."s indicate that the explanation of a proton having only 3 quarks (2 up, 1 down), and neutrons having only 3 quarks (1 up, 2 down), are just major simplifications. The truth is much more complicated...
Strange, charm, top, and bottom quarks are all heavier than up and down quarks, and the heavier particles are very unstable. Physicists have observed them during high-speed particle collisions, but then these heavier quarks quickly change into up and down quarks.
There is a lot we don't know about quarks (and anti-quarks!), and hopefully when we learn why there are so many different flavors, and why these various particles have the spins, charges, and masses that they have, we'll know a lot more about life, the universe, and everything.
|I'm not sure that babies need to|
know about quarks...?
But I love some of the "Baby Loves..." books,
so maybe this one is great, too?
To learn more, check out this super simple video...
And then you simply must check out this much candy-animated video that explains how the simple video actually way oversimplifies things!