In their search for the fundamental building blocks of matter, physicists have found smaller and smaller constituents that have proven to be themselves composite systems. As we probe the atom with increasing energy and thus increasing magnification, smaller and smaller structures become visible: the nucleus, the nucleons and finally the quarks. In this chapter we briefly introduce the fundamental constituents, leptons and quarks, and their fundamental interactions (electromagnetic, strong and weak) that are mediated by the exchange of vector particles: the photon, gluons and the three heavy vector bosons.
KeywordsVector Boson Electromagnetic Interaction Nuclear Force Electron Volt Colour Charge
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