Quarks are bit Strange. Initially,it was discovered that atom was indivisible.Then we were told it had in it more fundamental particles from which it’s made of:the protons,neutrons and electrons.But then came another big revelation: the protons and neutrons were also made up of something.They are called the Quarks.
Quarks and Colors
When it comes to particle physics one elementary particle that surprises me the most.Yes you guessed it right.Quarks.They are particles with seriously no internal structure but they are the ones who have all the credits for being the fundamental constituents of matter.They also have charge unlike anything else in nature i.e. plus or minus 2e/3 ,or plus or minus e/3.Another thing surprised me is that they also have color ,like red,blue and green.But that color thing or color charge doesn’t have any relation whatsoever with the colors we have in everyday life.The red ,blue,green quarks have also their antiparticles called anti-red,anti-blue,anti-green respectively.The combination of colored quarks(red,blue,green) is colorless or white or said to have zero color charge.Same also happens in the case of anti-quarks.These quarks have the ability to arrange themselves by the property of strong interaction.For every color charge there is an anti-color charge to conserve the particle-antiparticle creation and annihilation.
Are Quarks really Strange
For their strange behaviour only ,another term was introduced for the quarks:Strangeness of quarks. In early days,people observed some particles show some strange behaviour by staying for more time before decaying to stable particles which led them to think about the strangeness of the particles.Also strange particles were always created in pairs +1 and -1 strangeness.A particles may have negative strangeness and its anti-particles has positive strangeness.
Up and Down Quarks
There is another pair of quarks:up quarks and down quarks.During weak interaction,quarks can swap their flavor for another.For instance,during negative beta decay, the down quark inside a neutron gets transformed to an up quark which results in change in the total charge of quarks inside neutrons.After this transformation,the total charge of quarks become +e,which is of course the charge of proton(two up quarks and a down quark).The proton can also become a neutron by this weak force which will again flip one of the up quarks inside the proton to a down quark ,transforming it into a neutron.
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By Jacek rybak – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,