Free course

Particle physics

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Particle physics

This free course, Particle physics, will give you an overview of current concepts and theories in the field. You will learn about the fundamental components of matter – known as leptons and quarks – and the composite particles, such as protons and neutrons, which are composed of quarks. You will see that all particle reactions may be described in terms of one of two fundamental interactions, known as the strong and the weak interactions, responsible for binding particles together and allowing them to change type, respectively.

This OpenLearn science course was updated with the kind support of Dangoor Education340, the educational arm of The Exilarch's Foundation.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • recognise and name the six flavours of lepton and the six flavours of quark.
  • understand that all leptons and quarks have corresponding antiparticles
  • appreciate that quarks and antiquarks combine to form baryons, antibaryons and mesons.
  • write balanced strong interactions, understanding the role of gluons
  • write balanced weak interactions, understanding the role of W and Z bosons

First Published: 03/05/2018

Updated: 06/01/2020

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Course content