Monday, February 20, 2006


Definition: fundamental constituent of hadrons. There are 6 varieties (or flavors), two in each of the mass generations:

Name (symbol) Charge

up (u) 2/3e

down (d) -1/3e

charm (c) 2/3e

strange (s) -1/3e

top (t) 2/3e

bottom (b) -1/3e

In order of increasing mass and e is the charge on an electron

Top and bottom quarks are also sometimes known as truth and beauty.

The name quark was coined by Murray Gell-Man, from a line in James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake: "Three quarks for Muster Mark". Although Joyce appears to have meant it to be pronounced as it is spelt, physicists (for reasons unknown) pronounce it to rhyme with fork.

Quarks carry color charge and interact through the color force of quantum chromodynamics.

Pronunciation: quork

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