R Lang & Associates
HOME ABOUT SPACE & AVIATION MEDICAL SCIENCE
Is a Quark a Quirk ?
The word atom originally denoted a particle
that cannot be cut into smaller pieces, originating
from the Greek word atomos ..
As you might have suspected, the study of quarks presents itself unlike other subjects of science. What other science topic categorizes by flavors ? Doesn’t sound very scientific. Is a quark a quirk ?
Many agree that the concept and study of the
atom derives from a sound historical
development. It began in the early
1800s with the
work of Dalton who observed how elements combine in whole number ratios, and continued with the achievements of Thompson,
Rutherford, and Bohr of the early 1900s which eventually completed the modern day concept of the atom comprised of a nucleus with
protons and neutrons and electrons orbiting in a precise way.
The word atom
originally denoted a particle that cannot be cut into smaller particles,
originating from the Greek word atomos,
All the different kinds of atoms are represented by the
Periodic Table, commonly known as the elements, and all chemical compounds
are composed of these different elements or atoms.
Chemistry is often known as
the central science because it
bridges many other sciences such as metallurgy, geology, biology, and physics.
It is basis for all materials, natural and man-made, and truly the most useful for the knowledge it provides on how to make things.
Atomic physics provided the first onset of the
atomic bomb, and the splitting of the atom has since been a controversial issue.
Although a more controlled tapping of the atomic nucleus was learned to provide energy, it isn’t without certain risks and social concern.
In the later middle 1900s, although many physicists were
still intent on verifying the atom, tell-tale signs of “something else” were
in the laboratory. There was evidence that elementary particles existed smaller than the atom. This puzzling recurrence led to the discovery
and study of sub-atomic particles.
Although classification is sometimes a bit confusing,
subatomic particles are often categorized as quarks (from protons or neutrons),
(1/2 integer spins), or bosons (integer spins).
The pursuit of subatomic particles are mostly due to a
thirst for knowledge of what the universe is ultimately made of.
Its study does
not yield anything nearly as productive as the chemistry of atoms and molecular compounds. Some think that since the model of the
atom resembles a small planetary system (the “smallest-small” to the “biggest-big”, in comparison), that this must be the end-all of the
minute world. Yet the realist contends it unsatisfactory in spite of “the evidence”. The community of scientists are at odds over a point-of-
view. But when it comes down to usefulness and being practical, the model-atom seems to win out. Thus, the often thought silliness or antic
in terms used to describe quarks or bosons demonstrates the hypocrisy of those undertaking such studies; and to be rest assured that the
study of the subatomic world does yield to the molecular world of atoms.
About the Atom