General Question

LostInParadise's avatar

What are scientists talking about when they mention things like the flavor or color of a particle?

Asked by LostInParadise (31942points) December 27th, 2023

How does one go about measuring them? I can see how things like mass, momentum and wavelength can be measured, but what type of device is used to measure flavor or color?

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8 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

They are referring to specific properties of subsets of sub atomic particles. Quarks are identified as Up, Down, Charm, Strange, Top, and Bottom. each quark is a different flavor.

LostInParadise's avatar

There has to be some macroscopic way of distinguishing one from another. For example, you can determine the strength of an electric current by measuring how brightly it lignts up a lightbulb that it is flowing through. What type of device distinguishes one quark from another?

Caravanfan's avatar

They are just fun names that someone came up with. They don’t have color or flavor.

LostInParadise's avatar

But what do they have? Also, what are strangeness and spin and what do they measure?

zenvelo's avatar

@LostInParadise They have charge characteristics. The charge characteristics are observable. The charge may attract or repel, and cause the quark to take on other

Don’t forget these are subatomic particles and very hard to detect and/or observe.

LostInParadise's avatar

That sort of makes sense. I am thinking of checking out from our public library a book that is a layman’s introduction to quantum mechanics.

Caravanfan's avatar

I’ll just add that it’s impossible for quarks to actually have any color since they are orders of magnitude smaller than the wavelength of visible light.

flutherother's avatar

Quarks can’t be isolated or observed and they’ve only been deduced from the behaviour of larger particles such as protons and electrons. Giving quarks “colours” is just a convenient way of acknowledging that according to theory they come in different types.

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