Higgs & Bosons & Fermions....
Oh My!
SubAtomic Journey

Robert L. Piccioni, Ph.D.

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This book explores the Micro-World of subatomic particles and forces, including the recently discovered Higgs boson.

The pursuit of nature’s smallest parts is one of mankind’s oldest quests, beginning at least 26 centuries ago. But, just in our lifetimes it seems we’ve finally “hit bottom.” Each step deeper into the Micro-World has revealed surprises, and expanded our understanding of nature on all size scales. At the bottom, we see a remarkable unity — nature is the same everywhere. Each galaxy could have been made of different types of matter, just as Earth’s continents have different flora and fauna. Instead, everything everywhere in the universe is made of just the same few elementary parts.

Einstein said: “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.” Now we know why. It is the simplicity of its smallest parts that allows us to comprehend the bewildering diversity and scope of our universe.

Yin Yang
In nature, there seems to be a yin for every yang. For each type of particle of matter there is a corresponding type of antiparticle of antimatter. Antiparticles have the same mass as their particle partners, but all their other characteristics are opposite. For example, the antielectron has the same mass as an electron, but its electric charge is +1 instead of –1.
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