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Published:June 10th, 2007 08:21 EST
The World of Elementary Particles

The World of Elementary Particles

By Subash Lamichhane

Since the Human evolved, with his mind he has made a great journey from the Forest to today’s world. The enthusiasm, which the human is blessed with, is the reason behind all of these improvements. Answers to the unlimited questions have already been discovered, but with every answer that we have found, more questions have grown.

Today though, we stand in the world filled with complex technology; still, there are so many things left to find out about and research in the field of basic elementary particles. We have moved so far, but it is not enough. We still have not gotten the details of elementary particles and there is so much remaining to be known of every fundamental block in our world of physics. 

The history of making guesses of elementary particles dates back to the days of Aristotle and may even go further than that. We lack the history behind that. Aristotle believed that matter was made up of four basic elements: Earth, air, fire and water. This is quite similar to the Veda, an old scripture of Hindu religion. The scripture mentions there are these five elementary particles: Earth, water, air, fire and metal. Democritus, a Greek Philosopher, believed that matter was grainy... that is, they are made up of atoms. However, later, some other scientists tried to research atoms... Thomson, Rutherford, Bhor are among those who have contributed to finding out more about elementary particles. 

Up to 1932, matter was supposed to be composed of four elementary particles that are electron, proton neutron and neutrino. Neutrino is supposed to be generated during alpha decay. Later on, several other such particles have been discovered, such as moun, pion, kaon, sigma, taoun, lambda, omega, etc. When high-speed electrons and protons are collided, it indicated that most of the so-called elementary particles were made of up small particles. These particles were name quarks. 

Though we have somehow discovered and found more answers about particles, we still have so many unanswered questions about anti-particles. We have not gone far enough with the research of anti-particles, as this is a new topic for the world to ponder about. Positrons, antiprotons, antineutrons and antihydrogen so far have been discovered. It has opened so many doors for physicists to wonder about. Now we can conclude that every element has antiparticles. We also have our anti-particles, like wise so as our Galaxy. An anti-particle of a particle is the entity which has same value of the charge, mass and quantum number in magnitude that of the particle, but opposite in sign. 

The discovery of an anti-particle has added charm to the world of physics. Many things shall be discovered and they will of course be of great help. Whenever a particle collides with its anti-particle, both disappear-- giving energy to their mass. This process is called Annihilation. An electron and positron annihilate, giving rise to two photons with a total 1.02 MeV energy, equivalent to vanished mass.

This is so interesting. The world can fulfill its hunger for energy if this method is well accomplished. Physics has so many mysteries and still we have so much left to know about what we are made up of and still more left to know about atoms. 

At last, there is a possibility of an anti-you somewhere in this universe, if you ever shake your hands with anti-you, it will give out energy equivalent to your mass along with the anti-you. It is, of course, dangerous for you, as well as for others... the energy produced when we annihilate can possibly destroy our earth. We are full of energy. However, we are lucky that there is no possibility of anti-you on our earth. However, you should be aware that there might be anti-earth and anti-you in the anti-universe.