Getting a rough understanding of the basics of particle physics — our current understanding of the most elementary aspects of the universe — isn’t that hard. If you’ve had a class on physics at the advanced pre-university or beginning university level, it’s even easier. If math terrifies you, try the non-math version of this presentation [sorry, that version won't be ready for a while yet.] But if you can handle algebra, sines and cosines, and (perhaps not even necessary) the simplest aspects of calculus, then you can learn how fields work and how particles arise. There’s one leap of faith you’ll need, which involves learning a tiny bit about what quantum mechanics does. I won’t explain it in math, I’ll just tell you the answers. But once you accept that one point, everything else will follow.
Here are the articles
1,2. The ball attached to a spring:
- the classical [Newtonian, 1700] version, followed by
- a rough description of the quantum [post-1900] version
Once you’ve read these, don’t miss How the Higgs Field Works