"How is it that our universe came to be so rich and varied? Why are there stars, light, planets, and a hundred different atoms that can be combined into countless molecules?
Elementary-particle physicists seek answers to these questions by studying subatomic particles and forces.
Although these investigations require sophisticated instruments to reveal phenomena far smaller and more energetic than we are aware of in daily life,
the deep connection between the two realms inspires researchers in elementary-particle physics and lends added significance to their investigations."
-- from Elementary Particle Physics, The National Research Council's Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications (1998).
Suggestions for students using this page:
- As you browse the many links, keep a journal of what you find out.
- Follow any subsequent links that intrigue you. Document what you find of interest and where you find it.
- Keep a list of any unanswered questions you might develop - then seek the answers on your own!
- Look at the Particle Physics Questions at the end of this section to guide your quest.
- Arrange with your instructor to submit answers to a set of the questions and complete some of the activities for a mutually acceptable amount of 'credit'.
- Have fun!
Report of the 2004-5 class projects
"In 1928, physicist and Nobel prize winner Max Born told a group of visitors, "Physics, as we know it, will be over in six months."
His confidence was based on the recent discovery by Dirac of the equation that governed the electron.
It was thought that a similar equation would govern the proton, which was the only other particle known at the time, and that would be the end of theoretical physics.
However, the discovery of the neutron  and of nuclear forces knocked that one on the head too."
-- Stephen Hawking, The Illustrated 'A Brief History of Time'
"Great advances in Physics are a result of bigger and better experiments."
-- Paul Padley, Rice University
Please report any broken links.