If particles always decay into particles of smaller mass, how are larger particles

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formed? I assume this has a very simple answer, I just can't seem to figure it out.
 

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HallsofIvy
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Re: If particles always decay into particles of smaller mass, how are larger particle

Don't you think the average time until decay is relevant? How long does it take a quark to decay? How long does it take a proton to decay?
 
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Re: If particles always decay into particles of smaller mass, how are larger particle

So eventually everything in the universe will have decayed into the smallest possible form, assuming the universe is still around by then?
Or am I totally missing your point?
 
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Re: If particles always decay into particles of smaller mass, how are larger particle

Ah, I seem to have found the answer to my poorly worded question.
Most of the quarks in the universe are already in their least massive generation, and these are the ones that occur most often in nature.
So I suppose the answer to my question is yes, all of the quarks are in their smallest form, and that's the way they remain, save some rare high energy collisions creating more massive quarks, which decay quickly back into a lower massed particle.
 

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