Houston Area Quarknet Associate Teacher Institute 2005

Back to main page

"How is it that our universe came to be so rich and varied? Why are there stars, light, planets, and a hundred different atoms that can be combined into countless molecules?

Elementary-particle physicists seek answers to these questions by studying subatomic particles and forces.

Although these investigations require sophisticated instruments to reveal phenomena far smaller and more energetic than we are aware of in daily life, the deep connection between the two realms inspires researchers in elementary-particle physics and lends added significance to their investigations."

-- from Elementary Particle Physics, The National Research Council's Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications (1998).

Reference materials

Basic Physics

Vector Addition

Classical mechanics and Electromagnetics


Conservation Laws


For the somewhat more technical ...

More detailed explanations
of the some of the work done at Fermilab

History of Particle Physics

Introduction to Particle Physics
- Simple explainations and nice graphics.

History of Particle Physics
- in compact timeline form

History of Quantum Mechanics
- links to the biographies of many of the key contributors

Nobel Prize winners in Physics


ABC's of Nuclear Science
- basic review of decay processes and reactions

Glossary of Nuclear Science Terms



The Particle Adventure
- includes interactive Standard Model Chart

Particle Fireworks
- including the 'build your own hadron' and 'hadron decay' activities!

- See also Picturing Particles for a basic reference.

- watch 'em polka!

Watch some animated collisions
- if you look carefully, you can observe the p+and p- 's accelerating!

View live particle collision data from FermiLab
- updates automatically when the beam is running.

FermiLabyrinth: Play the particle games!
- needs Shockwave plugin.


The God Particle -- Leon Lederman (1993)
The Quark and the Jaguar -- Murray Gell-Man (1994)
Relativity: The Special and General Theory -- Albert Einstein (1961)




Quarknet Main Webpage

UH Particle Physics


Lawrence Berkeley Labs

Brookhaven National Labs

Houston Quarknet Center

Rice Bonner Lab


Stanford Linear Accelerator


"In 1928, physicist and Nobel prize winner Max Born told a group of visitors, "Physics, as we know it, will be over in six months." His confidence was based on the recent discovery by Dirac of the equation that governed the electron. It was thought that a similar equation would govern the proton, which was the only other particle known at the time, and that would be the end of theoretical physics. However, the discovery of the neutron [1932] and of nuclear forces knocked that one on the head too."
-- Stephen Hawking, The Illustrated 'A Brief History of Time'

"Great advances in Physics are a result of bigger and better experiments."
-- Paul Padley, Rice University

May, 2005
Please report any broken links.