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Quarks and their quirks

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Leona Hope-Coles.

Abstract: How much could you learn about baked beans if you were unable to open a tin? We face the same problem with quarks. They are the building blocks of matter at the deepest level that we have reached inside the atomic nucleus, but we cannot study them directly. What we have to do is to measure the properties of their bound states called hadrons (examples are the proton and neutron) and then infer the properties of quarks by comparing to theoretical calculations. Recently there has been a huge improvement in the accuracy possible from theory and I will describe how this progress has come about. Combined with existing experimental results and new ones from Fermilab, SLAC and KEK this is leading to much much improved understanding of the properties of quarks and will in turn place limitations on theories that attempt to go to the next level.

This talk is part of the Cavendish Physical Society series.

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