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Atoms made of different Quarks

  1. Dec 12, 2011 #1
    Atoms, and therefore matter, is made of protons and neutrons, which are in turn made up of quarks, up and down flavors, is it not possible that other matter may be made up of different quarks, so as to make different atoms, that would be very different to those we already know of and also possibly interact differently with those that we do know,
    Does anyone know anything about this?
    also i couldn't find a thread about this sort of thing but if there is then a link would suffice :D
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2011 #2
    Neutrons and protons are made of three quarks, so do you mean "atoms" made of mesons, which are two quarks? Or do you mean particles made of many quarks? Your question isn't clear. I've found this site to be particularly helpful in explaining basics of particle physics.
  4. Dec 12, 2011 #3
    sorry yes, i mean atoms made of mesons and hadrons and the such, combining to for "atoms"
    is that right?
  5. Dec 12, 2011 #4


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    As far as I'm aware there are different theoretical states of quark matter, an example that comes to mind is strange matter which is a soup of up, down and strange quarks.
  6. Dec 12, 2011 #5
    thank you :D
  7. Dec 12, 2011 #6


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    In principle, you can have lots of different kinds of hadronic bound systems. The only things you have to keep in mind, is that hadrons have to be colorless and that they often decay rapidly. Since there are 3 colors, the number of particles must by divideable by 2 (color and anti-color present) or by 3 (all colors present).

    "Real" atoms are distinguished by the fact, that the proton is the only stable hadron. Experiments with exotic atoms have been done.
  8. Dec 12, 2011 #7
    One interesting line of research is the effort to produce anti-hydrogen, which is one positron bound to one antiproton, in contrast to one electron bound to one proton as in normal hydrogen. The upside is that by iteself, antihydrogen by itself should be stable at last a long time. The downside is that antimatter has a knack for bumping into the walls of its container and disintergrating. If you can isolate antihydrogen (e.g. using electromagnetic confinement), then it is stable.

    The main problem is that particles beyond the big three (electron, neutron, proton) do not occur naturally on earth in high density, so you have to create them in high-energy atom smashers. But by doing so, they end up with high velocities, so you have to slow them down a lot if you want them to bind together into atoms.
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