In this free course, Particle physics, you will be introduced to the realm of particle physics that lies at the heart of a scientific understanding of the material world. Several concepts that you may already be familiar with, including atoms and energy, will be explored. You will also look at the various types of particle reactions, and the fundamental interactions that govern their behaviour.
Subatomic particles are the building blocks of the Universe and an understanding of the reactions between these particles is crucial in order to have an appreciation of how the Universe works, how it began, and how we came to be here.
Before embarking on this course, you should note that it is assumed you have a basic understanding of the concept of energy and electromagnetic radiation. You should be aware that atoms consist of central nuclei surrounded by a cloud of electrons. You should also be aware that atomic nuclei comprise various numbers of positively charged protons and neutral neutrons, while the electrons which surround these nuclei are negatively charged. Protons and neutrons are collectively referred to as nucleons.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course SM123 Physics and space [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .