Today’s new article on the known types of particles attempts to set forth the particles of nature in a couple of different ways, ones that I hope will give you insights into why particle physicists categorize the particles the way they do.
The article describes the particles of the Standard Model of Particle Physics, which consists of all the known apparently-elementary particles and the simplest possible Higgs particle. The name Standard Model just means: this is the simplest set of equations that can fit all the data we have gathered over decades, and that repeatedly makes correct detailed predictions for new experiments (despite occasional hints to the contrary, for instance this one, which unfortunately have tended to vanish over time.)
Sometimes this collection of types of particles is called the Particle Zoo. Is there some hidden structure that underlies it?
Soon I’ll provide another post showing how this somewhat disorganized array of particles would have been much more simply organized were it not for the Higgs field. What is the secret story behind this wily Higgs field?!