7th February 2005 – What is the Universe Made Of?

 What is the Universe made of? Charmed quarks? Bits of string?


The discussion, led by Dr Fred Loebinger from the High Energy Physics department at Manchester University, covered the history of fundamental particles – atoms, electrons, neutrons, quarks, gluons and leptons. We found that they weren’t fundamental.

We looked at today’s indivisible particles and how will they fare in the future. There was a time when we could explain everything we had observed in the Universe (even via telescopes and microscopes) with only 3 particles (proton, neutron and electron). No others were necessary.

Then we found another one – which we didn’t need but which we had to explain. Damn!

Now we have just 6 quarks and 6 leptons + their antiparticles + the force particles. It’s not a lot to explain everything from a human to the centre of a star but it should be less. Hence “Grand Unified Theories” & “Theories of Everything”.

Do we really think The Universe is made of bits of string?  Well I do!

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