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No, not the food. I’m talking about the fundamental building blocks of the universe. No, not atoms, quarks are not another name for atoms. Quarks build atoms. No, not protons, neutrons or electrons. I’M TALKING ABOUT QUARKS! Quarks, that build everything I just mentioned, and more.

There six types, or flavors of quarks: Up (U), down (D), top, or truth (T), bottom, or beauty (B), strange (S), and charm (C).

What are Quarks? | Physics | The Fuse School

As Google Dictionary puts it, “[Quarks are] subatomic particles carrying a fractional electric charge…”

Quark names

I’ve always wondered why quarks are called what they are. Here is a brief exclamation.

Up: Scientists named this quark “Up” because it was the opposite of “Down”.

Down: Scientists named this quark “Down” because it was the opposite of “Up”.

Charm: This quark was actually named just because someone wanted to name it this!

Strange: This quark is names for the long life of its K particle, described as “strangely long.”

Top: This quark had similar properties to the U quark so it was renamed “Top”.

Bottom: This quark had similar properties to the D quark so it was renamed “Bottom”.

Sticking together

So quarks build everything, but how do they stick together? When quarks interact, they exchange particles that stick them together, like glue. They are called Gluons (Glue-ons).

However, gluons alone cannot hold quarks together. Once connected, a force called Strong Force (yeah, yeah, real creative) keeps them together. This makes a Hadron.

Weak Force

“[Leptons are] a subatomic particle, such as an electron, muon, or neutrino…” (These definitions raise more questions than they answer.) You should know this fact because…

Weak force is a force that makes quarks and leptons interact!

Image result for xkcd quarks

1489: Fundamental Forces – xkcd

It makes both quarks and leptons have nuclear decay, so, not so cool.


Some scientists speculate that quarks hold entire universes. Is this true? We may never know. (Actually, considering the rate technology is accelerating, we may discover them when those rich snobs (I am not calling all rich people snobs!)  bankrupt us all and try to send us there. Snobs aside, is it actually possible for there to be universes in quarks?

This is called the finite to infinite theory. This theory talks about the entire universe as a small part of a much larger part, which is part of an even larger part, etc.  Unfortunately, if this is correct, humans will never be able to prove it.

Right now quarks are the smallest known thing in the universe. But before that, we thought it was atoms. (The word “atom” means “smallest”.) Will we someday discover something smaller? Someday will I have to trash this article for a different one?

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