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Funny particles

  1. Apr 3, 2003 #1
    Theoretical pjysics seems to be swamped by particles with unusual or rediculous names. What are the funniest named particles and what are their properties?
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  3. Apr 3, 2003 #2
    The quarks have the most RIDICULOUS names of them all. Charm.


    Named on a whim by all accounts.

    And everybody just acceptted it. The others aren't so bad, but the actual name quark doesn't really mean anything. It was actually a nonsence word.
  4. Apr 3, 2003 #3
    theirs the neutrino,muon,mesons,kmesons,hyperon,pi mesons,gluons,leptons,boson,baryons,and all their antis
  5. Apr 3, 2003 #4
    I think the quarks up and down have the most confusing names!! I was telling my sister what a proton was made out of: 2 up quarks and 1 down quark. She was confused when I said "up" and "down". Why on earth were they called such odd names?
  6. Apr 3, 2003 #5


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    Just be happy they didn't name the Top and Bottom quarks "Truth & Beauty"!
  7. Apr 4, 2003 #6
    I think that the funniest is quark sounds like a muppet
  8. Apr 4, 2003 #7
    Indeed the nomenclature chosen for particles seems to be a bit hilarious, since most of them are the consequence of some literary inspiration (e.g. hadrons), some analogy to greek mythology (Hyperon) or something similar. But it is a form to relax a bit the formalism and make them more friendly, or not?
  9. Apr 4, 2003 #8
    Don't forget the bartender in star trek deep space nine!
  10. Apr 4, 2003 #9
    Personally I think the super-symmetric theoretical particles have pretty goofy names. Quarks and leptons sound bad enough, how about their super-symmetric partners Squarks and Sleptons! That sounds even more ridiculous. Sneutrinos, Gauginos and the list goes on. In a tape-recorded lecture on particle physics Dr. Feynman once referred to the Shmoonino (its funny to hear Dr. Feynman say Shmoonino with his New York accent), a hypothetical particle that actually sounds like smoothing particles physicists would choose as a name.
  11. Apr 4, 2003 #10

    Tom Mattson

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    Oddly, those quark names make the most sense!

    They refer to the 3-component of isospin ("up" and "down", to put it very loosely).
  12. Apr 5, 2003 #11


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    Carriers of the strong force hold all mattre in the universe together. So we name them "gluons". I mean, come on; "glue-ons"?! Do you realise how close we came to "velcrons"?!
  13. Apr 5, 2003 #12
    It's like one of those infomercials: "glu-on, glu-off." :smile:

    There's "stranglets" -- heavy nuclear matter with some strange quarks replacing ups; this is stuff that was supposed to Start a Chain Reaction That Would Destroy The World when RHIC opened up a couple years ago.

    Also "charmonium", the charm-anticharm meson.

    And "glueballs", semi-stable (color-neutral) particles composed of a bunch of gluons.
  14. Apr 6, 2003 #13


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    I believe it to be in fact intentional. Science is now studiously avoiding meaningful names, since all the previous meaningfully named things have all turned out to be embarrassingly incorrect. Think atom (indivisible), electron orbitals etc. All of these have very different meanings from what they originally mean. Because we don't understand much about these newly discovered ones, we use funny names. And it helps undermine the mad scientist myth.
  15. Apr 6, 2003 #14


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    And don't forget the frusterating tendancy for the general populace to ascribe the "ordinary" meaning of a word to a scientific concept that has an ordinary name.

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