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Name: James C. T.
Status: educator
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 9/30/2003

What are quarks made of, and what role do sound waves play in the quark?

According to the "Standard Model", currently the best basic theory of sub-atomic particles, electrons and quarks (there are two kinds of quarks, given the names "up" and "down") are the fundamental building blocks of matter. A proton is composed of two "up" and one "down" quark and the neutron is composed of two "down" quarks and one "up" quark. Don't think of the terms "up" and down "down" literally. They could have been named "pink" and "blue" or "dog" and "cat".

There are reasons supporting their fundamental nature:

1. They have not been found to be composite particles even though experiments that should yield this result have been done.

2. When the "Standard Model" is extrapolated to smaller and smaller distances the various forces seem to be converging to a single force.

Neither of these reasons is a "proof" but only suggestive. If either were not the case then most certainly quarks and/or electrons would not be "fundamental" particles. The book "Supersymmetry" by Gordon Kane goes into this question in detail without the mathematical scaffolding that would make the subject incomprehensible to most of us. To my knowledge there is no direct connection between quarks and "sound" as I understand the latter term.

Vince Calder

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