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That the as yet undivided chemical elements are absolutely irreducible substances, is currently at least very unlikely. Rather it seems, that the atoms of elements are not the final, but only the immediate constituents of the molecules of both the elements and the compounds – the Molekeln or molecule as foremost division of matter, the atoms being considered as second order, in turn consisting of matter particles of a third higher order. Julius Lothar Meyer, 1870
For every one billion particles of antimatter there were one billion and one particles of matter. And when the mutual annihilation was complete, one billionth remained – and that’s our present universe. Albert Einstein
Query 31. Have not the small Particles of Bodies certain Powers, Virtues or Forces, by which they act at a distance, not only upon the Rays of Light for reflecting, refracting and reflecting them, but also upon one another for producing a great part of the Phænomena of Nature? Sir Isaac Newton, Opticks, 1704
Although we know nothing of what an atom is, yet we cannot resist forming some idea of a small particle, which represents it to the mind ... There is an immensity of facts which justify us in believing that the atoms of matter are in some way endowed or associated with electrical powers, to which they owe their most striking qualities, and amongst them their mutual chemical affinity. Michael Faraday, Researches in Electricity 1839
One is constantly reminded of the infinite lavishness and fertility of Nature – inexhaustible abundance amid what seems enormous waste. And yet when we look into any of her operations that lie within reach of our minds, we learn that no particle of her material is wasted or worn out. It is eternally flowing from use to use, beauty to yet higher beauty; and we soon cease to lament waste and death, and rather rejoice and exult in the imperishable, unspendable wealth of the universe. John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1911
So a program was launched to study the interaction of Protons and Neutrons and it was discovered as time went on that the law looked a little more complicated ultimately. That it was extremely complicated. It was as complicated as it could be! Professor Richard Feynman, interview Horizon: Strangeness Minus Three, BBC 1964
The nuclear part of the forces as we’ve discovered has one peculiar characteristic: that is that you can change a neutron for a proton and it doesn’t make any difference to the force. We say that the nuclear forces have a symmetry. ibid.
Is there an extension, an additional symmetry between the particles? ibid.
Two years ago a group of experimental particle physicists of Brookhaven, New York, found a new particle with a unique characteristic of strangeness minus three. Their discovery was the climax of a dramatic two-year search ... the omega minus. Horizon: Strangeness Minus Three, BBC 1964
Produced by nuclear reactions in the sun, the neutrino was originally thought to have no mass like a photon of light. But the new theories suggest the neutrino may have a small mass after all. So scientists are going to great lengths to measure it. Horizon: What Einstein Never Knew, BBC 1985
French engineers and scientists are building a great scientific machine. It’s a nuclear accelerator called the Vivitron. It’s cost £8 billion. And part of it has come from Britain. Horizon: An Expensive Theology, BBC 1992
They’re working with the nucleus of the magnesium atom. The magnesium atoms are accelerated down this huge tower ... The nuclei are fired into a target also of magnesium. ibid.
The funding was established by treaty. ibid.
The first Cyclotron was a giant of its day. ibid.
The collision creates a tiny fireball getting close to the Big Bang at the start of our universe. ibid.
Quarks: five have been detected. ibid.
Cern costs £350 million a year ... Cern is governed by international treaty. ibid.
Mrs Thatcher even visited Cern to enthuse over the experiments. ibid.
The particle physicists are asking for funds for the next stage of their research. ibid.
The Americans are planning an even bigger rival. Here in Texas they’ve started construction on the Superconducting Super Collider. ibid.
Life clearly had begun during this maelstrom ... Comets and asteroids also shed tiny organic particles into space – they’re called Inter-planetary Dust Particles. Horizon: Life’s Impossible, BBC 1993
The idea is that at the beginning there was just a soup of mass and energy existing at a single point. Then sub-atomic particles separated out from the energy. There was now a universe with tiny irregularities of mass called quantum fluctuations. Scientists believe that somehow these fluctuations grew to become the ripples on the background radiation. And it was those ripples that allowed gravity to get to work to form the galaxies. Horizon: Whispers of Creation, BBC 1994
The photons arrive at the slits one at a time. So those that get through the screen on the other side should make two bright lines. They shouldn’t interfere and make the full pattern of stripes, but they do. Horizon: The Time Lords, BBC 1996
Catching these ghosts was one of the greatest challenges scientists have ever faced. Now experiments have revealed that they are even stranger than anyone thought. Could the tiny particles that are passing through you right now be the very reason we all exist? Horizon: Project Poltergeist, BBC 2004
For decades [Raymond] Davis and [John] Bahcall refused to give up, convinced that they were on to something important. This is the story of how an experiment which no-one believed has led to an astonishing discovery ... All through the eighties Ray continued to improve his detector, and year after year the results were the same: he could only find one third of the neutrinos John Bahcall had predicted. ibid.
On June 14th 1956 [Frederick] Reines and his colleagues announced the detection of the neutrino. ibid.
In this theory neutrinos would be constantly changing from type to type as they travelled through space. What started as an electron neutrino would later look like a muon neutrino ... Was this why Ray saw only a third of the neutrinos John said the sun was making? ibid.
There was just one problem. It was all to do with Time. For anything to change, Time must pass. But the standard model said the neutrino was a massless particle travelling at the speed of light. And according to Einstein if you’re travelling at the speed of light, there is no Time. And therefore no change. ibid.
But then scientists made a discovery that completely transformed their ideas about the neutrino ... Contrary to all theory neutrinos did have a sense of Time. It was a bombshell. Scientists suddenly realised that the Standard Model had got neutrinos completely wrong. This did have mass. They could change flavour. ibid.
The answer was they were both right. It was the Standard Model that was wrong. ibid.
The thing that is missing is the thing that gives the fundamental particles substance, that turns them into matter we can touch. It’s called Mass. Without mass the fundamental particles would all travel at the speed of light. The universe that we see simply wouldn’t have formed. Horizon: The Six Billion Dollar Experiment, BBC 2007
The Higgs Field is the missing piece in the standard model. It can explain how we can have a world of solid object from objects that appear to have no mass. ibid.