Chapter

Sublime Marvel

Gian Francesco Giudice

in A Zeptospace Odyssey: A Journey into the Physics of the LHC

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199581917
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723001 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199581917.003.0004
Sublime Marvel

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The modern theory of particle physics, called the Standard Model, describes electromagnetic, weak, and strong forces and all known forms of matter in terms a single conceptual principle. This chapter gives a short overview of the events that led to the discovery of this theory. It first explains the meaning of quantum field theory, which is the language used to describe the particle world. It then presents QED, the theory which describes the electromagnetic phenomena in the domain of particle physics. Finally, the Standard Model emerges from the synthesis of three intertwined stories: the discovery of quarks, the unification of electromagnetism with the weak force, and the understanding of the strong force in terms of QCD.

Keywords: Standard Model; quantum field theory; quantum electrodynamics; quarks; electroweak theory; quantum chromodynamics

Chapter.  9641 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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