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Elementary particles


Atoms: An introduction for 8th graders

Historical models of the atom

Electrons, Planck and early quantum theory

Alpha, Beta and Gamma particles: Nuclear physics and radioactivity

How do point particles create atoms with size?

Types of Elementary Particles


High-Energy Particles and Accelerators

As a young student at the University of Paris, Louis DeBroglie had been impacted by relativity and the photoelectric effect, both of which had been introduced in his lifetime. The photoelectric effect pointed to the particle properties of light, which had been considered to be a wave phenomenon. He wondered if electons and other “particles” might exhibit wave properties. The application of these two new ideas to light pointed to an interesting possibility:

– http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/debrog.html



Viewing a matter wave

The diffraction of electrons

A dialogue on the wave nature of matter:  http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/quantumzone/debroglie.html


Particle accelerators and Elementary Particle Physics

how Particle Accelerators Work

Here is an example of two particles colliding within an accelerator, and decaying into a variety of other products

particles colliding LHC

32.3: Particles and Antiparticles

32.4: Particle Interactions and Conservation Laws

32.5: Neutrinos

32.6: Particle Classification

32.7: Particle Stability and Resonances

32.8: Strangeness? Charm? Towards a New Model

32.9: Quarks

Fermions Leptons Quarks

Properties of how particles interact

Properties of the Interactions Elementary Particles

32.10: The Standard Model: QCD and Electroweak Theory

32.11: Grand Unified Theories (5)

32.12: Strings and Supersymmetry

Learning Standards

SAT Subject Test: Physics

Quantum phenomena, such as photons and photoelectric effect. Atomic, such as the Rutherford and Bohr models, atomic energy levels, and atomic spectra. Nuclear and particle physics, such as radioactivity, nuclear reactions, and fundamental particles. Relativity, such as time dilation, length contraction, and mass-energy equivalence

A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (2012)

Electromagnetic radiation can be modeled as a wave of changing electric and magnetic fields or as particles called photons. The wave model is useful for explaining many features of electromagnetic radiation, and the particle model explains other features. Quantum theory relates the two models…. Knowledge of quantum physics enabled the development of semiconductors, computer chips, and lasers, all of which are now essential components of modern imaging, communications, and information technologies.


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