Unlocking the Secrets of The Standard Model Part 1: Quarks

After a long hiatus, I am back, and ready to entertain and inform my readers with a new series. This one pertains to the Quantum Physics, a subatomic hobby of mine. Each piece will be explaining a different piece of Quantum Physics, starting with the very first series: Unlock the Secrets of The Standard Model. I’m hoping that after I’m done, I’ll be able to compile all the information into a short book. So here is Part 1: Quarks.

In high school, we all learned about the “basic building blocks of matter.” We always assumed that things like protons, neutrons, and electrons were the end all be all of what composes matter. We learned about things like elements, covalent bonds, electron interactions, and even a little bit of quantum chemistry, but that was the end of it. We never stopped to research, or even consider the fact that there may be something beyond these 3 basic particles. Luckily for the entire scientific community, there is something beyond these 3 particles. The true basic building blocks of almost all of the matter in the universe. These infinitesimal particles are known as quarks.

 

Before we delve into the definition of a quark, we must first talk about the different classifications of something called “elementary particles.” An elementary particle is a subatomic particle that helps to comprise the most essential pieces of matter in the universe. To help us keep track of all these different particles, we have something called the “Standard Model of Particle Physics.” This standard model separates different forms of matter into the proper categories. The 4 categories that exist within the Standard Model are: Quarks, Leptons, Gauge Bosons, and Scalar Bosons. These 4 categories include all of the different types of KNOWN elementary particles. What has not yet been discovered is so heavily beyond our comprehension, that we simply cannot begin to guess at what it would look like. We like to leave these things to the visionaries, like Feynman or Einstein.

 

In this post, I will be covering the first piece of the puzzle that is the Standard Model, quarks. Before we can understand what a quark is, we have to understand what a baryon is. A baryon is a specific denomination of matter, which is comprised of protons and neutrons. Anything that contains a proton or a neutron is classified as baryonic, including protons and neutrons themselves. Simply put, anything we can touch is baryonic matter. There are other types of matter, but for the moment, we’ll just be talking about baryonic matter. It is a common misconception that protons and neutrons are the most basic particle building blocks. In fact, I’m willing to guess it’s one of the most common scientific inaccuracies. The true building block of all baryonic matter is the quark. Within all baryons is 3 quarks, which comprise that baryonic particle.

Now that we have established important vocabulary concepts, we can now move on to the nitty gritty. Quarks are a little intimidating to those who are unfamiliar, but I’ll try my best to explain them in a way that makes sense. Quarks are governed by 3 different forces. The first of which is known as “color.” Color has nothing to do with the actual color of the particle, but, rather, the force that the particle is experiencing. The 3 different levels of color force are Red, Green, and Blue. Each color corresponds to a specific level of force that each particle is experiencing. This allows multiple types of the same quark to exist within a particle. The second force is known as spin. Each quark has a spin of ½, which is determined by some extremely confusing math. If you have a solid grasp on calculus, you can check out some resources on h-bar and spin vectors, but otherwise, don’t bother.

 

The third and final property is its mass. This is where things get truly complicated. Before we talk about the mass of quarks, we must talk about another particle: a gluon. A gluon field surrounds every quark, helping it to stay in place, and allowing it to interact with other quarks without repelling each other. The gluons help the quarks hold different color charges, which allow them to overpower certain quantum elements, such as the Pauli Exclusion Principle, which states that no two particles can occupy the same quantum level. Since each quark is surrounded by a gluon field, we have to take into account two different kinds of mass. The first is known as the current quark mass, which is the mass of the quark itself. The second is called the constituent quark mass, which is the sum of both the quarks mass, and the mass of the gluon field that surrounds it. These 3 properties are the basic constituents of the most fundamental particles every discovered.

 

The final vocabulary term used when defining quarks is “flavor.” Flavor refers to the type of quark that is being observed. There are 6 known flavors of quarks, and they each come in pairs. The first pair is Up and Down, which are the types that form protons and neutrons. The second pair is Strange and Charm, which are used in heavier particles, such as hadrons. The final pair is the most massive. It includes the Bottom and Top quarks. These 3 pairs of quarks are known as generations.

 

The world of quantum physics is a beautiful place, and it will only become more so as we find out more about the universe that we live in. Until next time.

 

~Zane

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The Blessings of Anaros Part 4

Here it is guys, the final chapter. Enjoy the conclusion of “The Blessings of Anaros!”

 

The Blessings of Anaros Part 4

 

Anaros shouldered his pack, and began to head out of the village where he had spent the last 3 months. The villagers didn’t leave their homes, but Anaros began to speak to the villagers anyway. He crushed a Blessing of Speech, and began to address the villagers in their homes.

“Though I hate to leave this village, I feel that I am no longer needed, and my quest pulls me onward. I now leave you in the capable hands of the New Empire’s armies, who may now do as they please since I will be gone. But know this, I will come back, and when I do, the New Empire will be gone, and in its place shall be me, Anaros Atarix, descendant of Falthor Atarix! I now bid you goodbye, and may the gods be with you.” Anaros boomed. As the Blessing of Speech wore off, he turned and left the village. He was finally on the Road to complete his quest, and kill the Emperor.

 

Anaros arrived at the city of Felicise within hours of leaving the village, thanks to his Blessing of Speed. As he approached the massive gates of the city, the guards approached him.

“Papers?” Questioned one of the guards.

“I require no papers, let me through,” Anaros said. The guard warily put one hand on his sheathed sword, and asked Anaros again. Anaros reached into his pouch, and grabbed a Blessing of Strength. He crushed it in his hand, and took an offensive stance, charging the guard head on. Before the guard had the chance to draw his sword, Anaros delivered a bone-shattering punch to his nose, his hand plunging wrist deep into the guard’s face. The guard flew back nearly 100 feet, crashing into the iron gates of the city. Anaros noticed two other guards charging him, and ducked quickly out of the way of the first guards swinging sword. He charged the second guard, and jumped what looked like 15 feet into the air, landing on the guard’s chest, and crushing his ribs with the force of the blow. He used the excess force to catapult himself into the other guard, whipping his foot around and delivering a powerful kick to the guard’s stomach, forcing his body into the iron gate. With a creak, the iron gate opened, and Anaros entered the City.

 

The Emperor’s palace wasn’t hard to find, it stood towering above all of the other buildings in Felicise, its spires covered in sheets of gold, and its gates glittering in the harsh midday sunlight. With one powerful kick, Anaros smashed down the front gate, and fell to the ground with a massive crash. He strode into the castle swiftly, and the guards swarmed around him, encircling him and brandishing weapons. Anaros reached into his pouch, and pulled out a Blessing that none of the guards recognised. This was the source of Anaros’s uniqueness, his ability to create brand new types of Blessings. He crushed the Blessing, and sprinkled it around him in a circle, creating a ring around him. Just as he finished sprinkling the powder, the ground began to glow, and something began to come out of the ground.

“Whoever said I was a one man army?” Anaros said, his question clearly rhetorical.

The ground around him began to shake, and several men appeared in a circle around Anaros. They all held pouches similar to his, and began to attack the guards. In the blink of an eye, all of the guards were dead, and Anaros’s men assembled behind him, marching into the throne room.

 

Anaros burst into the throne room, quickly followed by the other Touched. Anaros was instantly in awe of the beautiful intricacies of the throne room. Its architectural schemes radiated beauty in countless different ways. The walls had been ingrained with deep sheets of gold, glittering diamonds poking out from them, and catching the eye of any who passed. Deep cuts were placed in each of the gold sheets, each of which depicted the Emperor’s glorious battles and triumphs.

“Who dares enter the throne room of Ikthor, Emperor of Narian?” The Emperor boomed, his voice echoing through the halls of the throne room.

“I am Anaros Atarix, descendant of Falthor Atarix.” Anaros replied, his voice steady.

“What is your purpose in disrupting me, foolish boy!” The Emperor yelled, his voice filled with rage.

“I am here to kill you.” Anaros said simply, charging toward the Emperor.

Anaros flew toward the Emperor, his feet carrying him with incredible speed, the likes of which very few people had ever witnessed. He reached into his pouch, and pulled out another new Blessing, this one in the shape of an amorphous blob. It was deep red, and contrasted with the other Blessing that he had, all of which were blindingly white. He jumped through the air, and landed on the Emperor’s throne platform.

“Let this battle begin.” The Emperor said, pulling out a pouch of his own.

Emperor Ikthor crushed three Blessings in his hand, and charged at Anaros with blinding speed. Before Anaros could dodge, Ikthor slammed his fist into his leg, and a sickening snap rang through the halls. Anaros screamed in pain and fell to the ground in a heap. Ikthor then slammed his fist into Anaros’s face, shattering his nose. Anaros slumped to the ground, his vision becoming blurry.

“Over that soon?” Ikthor asked, laughing heartily. “I thought you would put up more of a fight!”

“The point wasn’t to fight you, Emperor, it was to distract you.” Anaros said weakly, a smile on his face.

Ikthor looked around, and saw an assembly of Touched surrounding him, all holding a single red Blessing. They threw the Blessing onto the ground, and held out their hands toward Ikthor. Anaros raised his Blessing as high as he could, and brought it crashing down onto Ikthor’s stomach.

“See you in hell, Ikthor.” Anaros rasped.

Ikthor bellowed in fury as he was whipped into the air, and pulled into a massive spinning vortex that opened in his stomach. Ikthor collapsed into himself, and was sucked into the portal. Anaros was lifted into the air, and began to be pulled into the portal. He looked out on his brethren, and uttered his last words.

“Every hero must make sacrifices to do what he knows is right. Now go forth, and show the world what it means to be free.”

With this, Anaros was pulled into the portal, his bag of Blessings falling to the floor.

 

Wow, this took a while to write! Hope you guys enjoyed this short story, and let me know if you have any ideas for a short story you would like to see in the future. Until next time!

~Zane

The Blessings of Anaros Part 2

Hey everybody, time for part 2! Make sure you check out Part 1 so this makes more sense. Once I get a bit more into writing the story, I’ll post a link to the view the story in its entirety. Enjoy!

 

The Blessings of Anaros Part 2

 

Anaros sat on his bed, sculpting a Blessing of Strength. The blessing took the form of an arm, and was expertly sculpted with the precision of a master. He was holding the Blessing of Speech he had just crafted to his lips, and the Blessing was glowing. While he charged the Blessing, he would have no ability to speak, but when fully charged, his voice would return. Anaros thought back to his first experiences with Blessings, a wisp of a smile flashing across his face. Tired from the long day, he lay down once more, drifting off to sleep.

 

Anaros walked out onto the patio, a bottle of his finest ale in his hand, and his pouch in the other. Anaros had barely sat down in his chair, when he felt a massive weight pushing down on his chest. He struggled to move, but without a Blessing of Strength, he was unable to move. He watched as a figure emerged on the horizon, floating on the air as he approached Anaros. Realizing who was approaching him, Anaros growled with a primal, guttural anger. His head burned with fury, and he forced himself to stand, his body screaming in pain as the weight crushed him downward, forcing him into the ground. With considerable effort, Anaros reached into his pouch, and pulled out three Blessings. He crushed 2 of them, but, strangely enough, he swallowed the third, a small pill-like Blessing. The Blessing of Emotion fueled the fury within him, flooding his body with adrenaline, further fueling the power of the Blessing of Strength. The final Blessing, the Blessing of Awareness, enhanced his ability to think clearly, pushing his mind so far that he had given himself the powers of telekinesis. Using his enhanced abilities, Anaros materialized a small shiv, concealing it underneath his cloak.

“Please Anaros, allow me to help,” said the man, revealing two shimmering swords from under his cloak. “Take this sword, and we can have a fair battle.”

“I told you to never show your face here again, Falthor. You have made a grave mistake coming here, and I will not forgive you for what you have done to these people.” Anaros growled, fury apparent in his voice. Anaros picked up the sword, and charged Falthor, screaming with a primal fury unmatched by anything Falthor had ever seen. He whipped the blade around, bringing a crushing blow down on Falthor’s head. Falthor brought up his blade, parrying the blow with some effort, then jabbed at Anaros’s exposed chest, hoping to catch him off guard. Without even thinking, Anaros feinted to the side, slashing at Falthor, catching his sleeve, and cutting a gash in the man’s arm. Falthor screamed in pain, but continued his barrage. He swung with a mighty fury, keeping Anaros on the defensive. Just as Falthor swung his blade in a perfect arc that should have taken of Anaros’s legs, Anaros jumped, producing his small shiv, and plunging it into Falthor’s back.

“I told you to never show your face here again, Falthor, once you set foot in this village, you had sealed your fate. See you in hell.” Anaros said, a sick smile spreading across his face. He lifted his blade, and plunged it through Falthor’s chest. Falthor spit up blood, and his breathing slowed, then stopped. After so many battles, Falthor was finally dead.

 

I’ll try to post Part 3 later today, but tomorrow at the latest! Stay tuned!

~Zane

The Blessings of Anaros Part 1

As I said the other day, I absolutely love creative writing, so I decided that I’m going to put out a daily piece of creative writing, each one continuing on the last. If you enjoy this, let me know, and I’ll keep doing it! I hope you enjoy Part 1 of “The Blessing of Anaros”

The Blessing Of Anaros Part 1

The man was once a youthful, pride filled, boy, full of vigor and passion. He stood with a straight spine, and commanded an air of importance wherever he went. Very few people had his potential, but no one knew how far he would take things. The New Empire always found people like him, but no one knew why they took them, nor did anyone care to find out. They were too busy trying to provide for their families, trying to stay alive in a ruthless era of boundless starvation. Anaros was somewhat of an…exception.

The man was a beacon of hope for the people of the New Empire. They looked up to him, but no one knew his name. In any other situation, this may have been strange, but not in the grand city of Felicise. In Felicise, it was every man for himself. A few of the people of Felicise knew him, but none of them would speak to him, out of fear of death. The punishment for speaking to someone who had been Touched was horrible, burning at the stake. The New Empire seemed to have a fear of the Touched that went so far that it almost seemed like a reverence. Anaros was one of the Touched, and he displayed it proudly, flaunting it without even knowing he was doing so.

“Anaros,” the voice whispered. “Anaros, wake up! They’re here for us! You have to help us!”

Anaros slowly sat up, and mumbled something unintelligible. He seemed groggy for a moment, only to be wide awake a moment later. The source of the voice was an elderly man, his eyes welling up with tears. Anaros stood up, and grabbed a pouch off the nightstand, hurrying downstairs to see what all of the commotion was about. Men on horses were approaching the house, weapons gleaming in the moonlight. Anaros stepped casually outside, and fished around for something in his pouch. He pulled out a small object in the shape of an eye, and crushed it in his hand, the powder twinkling in the light of the enemies torches. He then reached back in, and pulled out a small object resembling a mouth, and crushed that as well. Anaros opened his mouth to whisper, his voice amplified by the crushed Blessings.

“Stop!” Anaros commanded, his voice so loud that it knocked men from their saddles. “You will come no further, lest you incur the wrath of a God!”

Most of the men ceased their advance, but a few brave souls rode onward, unphased by his incredibly powerful voice. With a shout, Anaros sent a supersonic pressure cloud toward the cavalrymen, disintegrating them completely with the sheer force of his voice.

“Dare anyone else come forward? Leave this village be, and I will not follow you, but if you lay a hand on any of these villagers, I will find you, I will make you wish you were never born. Mark my words now, I am a patient man, and I will be in no rush to end your life in a timely manner.”

With that, the men backed away, no one daring to face Anaros. The people of the village cheered, and Anaros returned to his bedroom, starting in on shaping another blessing. He still had a few more Blessings of Speech, but one could never have too many.

Check in tomorrow for the next piece of the story! See you guys later!

~Zane