Elementary Particle Physics, Physics tutorial


This section deals with study of elementary particles, how they are behave, how they produced and what are these elements and how they fall into families depending on their various properties. Every family has its individual spin which is a main instrument in grouping the particles. Some properties acquire by the elements which are usually considered as quantum properties. The families that permit us to combine them into a variety of families and exist. In this unit we will see how these sub-atomic particles can be organised, grouped and produced in families.

Types Of Elementary Particles:

Elementary particals are numereous particles are related to groups and families dependent on their spin quantum numbers and various other characteristics. Very soon, you will be able to collect them, you will able to know the families and their features. Hence, some of these atoms have integer spins; it worth noting that others have half- integer spins even as some another have fractional charges.

Elementary Particle:

There are numerous known elementary particles each of them is known as elementary since understanding the characteristics of matter. And they are known as basic building block of matter. Greater than 200 subatomic atoms has been discovered till now, all detected in sophisticated particles accelerators. Deep understanding of nature leads to the study of these particles.

Definition Of Elementary Particles:

An elementary particle is not known to be made up of minor elements; that is, it is not known to have a substructure. This is one of the basic building blocks of the universe from which all other particles are made. Elementary particles are the particle having no measurable internal structure, which is not made of other particles. These are the fundamental elements of quantum field premise .Every families and sub-families of basic particles exist. Classification of elementary particles can do according to their spin. Bosons contain integer spin whereas Fermions have half-integer spin.

Origin/Production of Elemenary Particle:

Some of the particles were first experienced in cosmic rays and this discovery open the way to various new particles discovery. A good example is the muon. Elementary particles are high powered particles; hence they are generated in high energy chambers like the accelerators where fast -moving particles collide to generate other lighter particles. One better example is the collision of a proton with another proton in an accelerator. This collision will produce a neutron, a positive pion and another proton as shown below.

p + p → p + n + π+

Detection Of Elementary Particles:

These particles can be fined using any of the particle detectors in physics. The particle detectors can be the Gaseous ionization detectors like:

  • Cloud chamber
  • Ionization chamber
  • Proportional counter
  • Multi-wire Proportional Chamber
  • Drift chamber
  • Time projection chamber
  • Geiger-Muller tube
  • Spark chamber

Apart from these, there are also Solid-state detectors like:

  • Semiconductor detectors 
  • Solid-state track detectors
  • Cherenkov detector
  • Scintillation counter
  • Photo multiplier or Photodiode/Avalanche photodiode

Particle Families:

Elementary particles are combined into families according to their features and behavior/interactions with other particles. They can be either fermions (with half- integral spins) or bosons (with integer spins). The families include:

a) the leptons and the quarks which are fermions

b) the hadrons (which are the mesons and the baryons)

c) the hyperons

The last two families here are bosons.


Quarks defined as elementary particles with fractional charges. They also have half- integer spins and hence they considered fermions. Quarks have six types and have corresponding anti-quarks have six types. There is no free quark in nature, i.e. quarks do not survive by themselves. All quarks always are bound to another quark or anti-quark by the replacing of gluons. This is known as quark confinement. Let us follow table below with their properties.



Charge e

Mass (MeV/c2)


























There are 12 basic fermions prepared through six quarks and six leptons. There are three leptons which are neutrinos, and the remaining three posses electric charge of -1 each .They are the electron, the muon and the tauon.  The table which is Shown below is the lepton family with some features            




Charge e

Mass (MeV/c2)    






Electron neutrino    










Muon neutrino



< 0.170






Tau neutrino




< 15.5


These particles are particles that communicate by the strong interaction and the general categorization contains mesons and baryons. The class of hadrons is more explained through the two families below.

Mesons and Baryons:

The intermediate mass particles which are prepared by a quark and an anti-quark pair are meason.  in contrast, three quark grouping increases the baryons.  Mesons consist of bosons, with integral spins. They contain the pi-mesons (pions), the k-mesons (or kaons) and the eta (η). The pions are positive- , negative- and neutral - pions. The neutral pion decompose into an electron, positron, and gamma ray by the electromagnetic interaction on a time duration of about 10-16 seconds, but the positive and negative pions posses larger lifetimes of about 2.6 x 10-8 s.  The baryons contains the nucleons that is protons and neutrons; as well as the hyperons which is strange baryons ( the lambda, the sigmas, the chis and the omega).


Hyperons are any baryo including one or more strange quarks, but not contain charm quarks or bottom quarks. Having baryons, every hyperon is fermions. Which is, these were half-integer spin and obey Fermi-Dirac statistics. They all communicate via the strong nuclear power, building them types of hadrons. These are made up of three light quarks, minimum one of which is a strange quark that makes them strange baryons. They contain three Sigma hyperons, Σ+, Σ0 and Σ- . They have rest mass of ~1,190 MeV and lifetimes of ~1×10-10s with the exception of Σ0Whose lifetime is less than 1×10-19s. They also have one Lambda hyperon, Λ0 with a remaining energy of 1,115 MeV and a lifetime of 2.6×10-10 s. They include two Xi hyperons, also called as the cascades  Ξ0 and Ξ-1. They contains remaining energies power of 1,315 MeV and 1,320 MeV and lifetimes of 2.9× 10-10s and 1.6×10-10 respectively. There is one Omega hyperon, the last discovered, Ω-1, with a mass of 1,670 MeV and a lifetime of 8.2×10-11 s.

Decay of Hyperons:

The hyperons participate in tough interactions and the following describe

Their decay modes:

1) Λ decay:

Λ0→ p+ + π-

Λ0→ n0+ π0

Λ0 may also decay on rare existence via these processes:

Λ0 → p+ + e- + νe 

Λ0 → p+ + µ- + νµ

2) Σ decay:

Σ+ → p+ + π0

Σ+ → n0+ π+

Σ0 → Λ0 + γ 

Σ- → n0 + π-

3) Ξ decay:

Ξ0 → Λ0+ π0

Ξ- → Λ0+ π-

Ξ  these particles is called  "cascade" hyperons, so they perform two-step cascading decay in a nucleon through first decaying to a Λ0and emitting a π±

4) Ω- decay:

Ω- → Ξ0+ π-        

Ξ0 → Λ0+ π0

Λ0 → p+ + π-

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