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Getting to the heart of matter - the story of quarks

We know very little about them, and 99.9% of the universe is made of them. Find out how scientists are trying to unlock the secrets of quarks!

It’s rather surprising to think that we know very little about 99.9% of the visible material in the universe. But that’s just the case with quarks! We can measure the mass of the electron to within an accuracy of a tiny fraction of a percent but we can’t measure the mass of up and down quarks (two of the six types of quarks) very accurately at all.

One of the reasons why we know so little about quarks is that they are never seen as free particles, but they are inextricably bound together by the strong force that in turn holds the atomic nucleus together. This force is the mightiest of nature’s fundamental forces and the hardest to crack, but recent theoretical advances have meant that we are at last getting to grips with it. In this Discourse Christine will describe how we are starting to learn more about the quark and what implication this new knowledge will have for our understanding of the physics of fundamental particles.


Prof Christine Davies | talks


Date and Time:

10 March 2006 at 8:00 pm


1 hour



Gower Street

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Organised by:

The Royal Institution of Great Britain
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£12 (Free for Ri Members)

Available from:

The Ri Events Team on 020 7409 2992 or www.rigb.org

Additional Information:

In association with UCL.

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