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## nucleon constituents

I understand that nucleons (protons and neutrons) consist of 3 valence quarks and a sea of other stuff, virtual quark-antiquark pairs and gluons. Question: are the virtual quarks only up and down or may there be heavier quarks?
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 Quote by mathman I understand that nucleons (protons and neutrons) consist of 3 valence quarks and a sea of other stuff, virtual quark-antiquark pairs and gluons. Question: are the virtual quarks only up and down or may there be heavier quarks?
All flavors contribute because of $g\leftrightarrow q\bar{q}$ processes. A quick search didn't turn up any sort of canonical reference, but http://cerncourier.com/cws/article/cern/29441 explains some experimental measurements related to the strange component of the proton.
 Mentor This pdg review has (predicted) parton distribution functions on page 12. Heavier quarks are suppressed, but they are present.

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## nucleon constituents

 Quote by fzero All flavors contribute because of $g\leftrightarrow q\bar{q}$ processes. A quick search didn't turn up any sort of canonical reference, but http://cerncourier.com/cws/article/cern/29441 explains some experimental measurements related to the strange component of the proton.
I would guess that it is possible that the other heavier quarks may be present, but the experiments might be difficult. Maybe LHC might find something?
 Blog Entries: 2 Recognitions: Science Advisor Naturally if you hit a proton hard enough, heavy quarks will be produced. I thought your question was, is there a significant percentage of heavy quarks already in the proton. And to answer this, as described in the ref, you want to do low energy experiments with high accuracy.

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