Standard Model

theory of particle physics

The Standard Model of particle physics is a theory concerning the electromagnetic, weak, and strong interactions, as well as classifying all the elementary particles known.


  • If the Standard Model describes the world successfully, how can there be physics beyond it, such as supersymmetry? There are two reasons. First, the Standard Model does not explain aspects of the study of the large-scale universe, cosmology. For example, the Standard Model cannot explain why the universe is made of matter and not antimatter, nor can it explain what constitutes the dark matter of the universe. Supersymmetry suggests explanations for both of these mysteries. Second, the boundaries of physics have been changing. Now scientists ask not only how the world works (which the Standard Model answers) but why it works that way (which the Standard Model cannot answer). Einstein asked "why" earlier in the twentieth century, but only in the past decade or so have the "why" questions become normal scientific research in particle physics rather than philosophical afterthoughts.
  • It is a characteristic of successful theories that they provide further understanding in many different areas of the field, in elegant and unsuspected ways. As for the Standard Model, we now know the the roles of asymptotic freedom, monopoles and instantons are crucial in our present picture of quark confinement, the hadron spectrum, the scaling phenomena and jet physics. The renormalization theory allows us to reproduce the observed data on the Z and W bosons with unprecedented precision. The Standard Model, as a gauge theory with fermions and at most only one scalar, is indeed tremendously successful.
  • A theoretical foundation for the Standard Model has been established through the work of Yang, Mills, 't Hooft, Veltman, Faddeev, Popov, Fradkin, Tyutin, Feynman, Gell-Mann, Bryce DeWitt, Mandelstam, Slavnov, Taylor, Zinn-Justin, B. Lee, Gross, Wilczek, Politzer, Becchi, Rouet, Stora, Nambu, Goldstone, Higgs, Brout, Englert, Bouchiat, Iliopoulos, Meyer, and many, many others.

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