Friday, July 20, 2012

Wacky Physics:

Wacky Physics: Why Do Particles Have Flavors?

The building blocks of matter —
fundamental particles — come in
many more flavors than the basic
few that make up the atoms we're
familiar with.

Flavor is the name scientists give to
different versions of the same type of particle. For instance, quarks (which make up the protons and
neutrons inside atoms) come in six
flavors: up, down, top, bottom,
strange and charm. Particles called
leptons, a category that includes
electrons, also come in six flavors, each with a different mass.

But physicists are baffled as to why flavors exist at all, and why each flavor has different characteristics.
And while particles do come in many flavors, our universe is preferentially made up of just a few.
"Maybe those different flavors are actually, in a funny way, different dimensions of space and time,"

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