The Standard Model of particle physics presents a world beyond the nucleus of the atom. The smallest components of the nucleus in chemistry, protons and neutrons, are actually made of smaller particles named quarks. These smaller, fundamental particles were discovered in collider experiments in the mid to late 20th century.
The latest component of the Standard Model, the Higgs particle, was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, and was announced on July 4, 2012
. The Higgs discovery marked a capstone to a multi-generational inquiry into the nature of matter.
This study guide was created to use with the award winning The Particle Adventure Internet site (http://www.particleadventure.org/
). The guide features questions that require students to read and work through each section of the Internet tutorial.
The Particle Adventure provides a guided tour of the subatomic world and addresses the components of the Standard Model (also termed the subatomic zoo), forces in nature, and the basics of quantum mechanics.
Topics include fundamental particles; scale of the atom; components of the standard model of particle physics; antiparticles; quarks and hadrons; quark charges; mesons; leptons and lepton families; possible decays; neutrinos; forces and carrier particles (graviton, W&Z-particles, photon, and the gluon); quark colors; separation of quarks and the strong force; stable matter in the universe; the status of gravity in the standard model; quantum properties; Pauli exclusion principle; superfluid helium.
The file includes a link to download the original MS Word file for this activity.