Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

B Identification of sub atomic particles?

  1. Aug 9, 2018 #1
    I have not formally studied physics but am interested in quantum physics. I have studied calculus so I know a little bit about mathematics in case the answer requires it.

    My question is, when a physicist conducts experiments at the quantum level, how do they know that what they are "seeing" is what they thought they were expecting? To fine tune my question, how does one know for sure that a proton is composed of quarks held together by gluons? What if it is entirely something different, but because the physicists were expecting one result of the experiment, they were prejudiced toward believing that the results confirmed what they were looking for?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2018 #2

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    So, you have not formally studied physics but want to know how you know that physicists are not knaves and idiots? I guess you don't. There's a long chain of reasoning behind every measurement, but if you'd rather believe physicists are "prejudiced toward believing that the results confirmed what they were looking for", there's nothing we could write that you will find convincing.
  4. Aug 9, 2018 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Ther's not much to add to V50's answer, so this thread is closed.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook