Strange Charm: A Song About Quarks

by: Hank Green

Strange Charm: A Song about Quarks

Lyrics

Good morning John.
I can already hear the music building up beneath me so I should probably just stop talking.
This song is about quarks, I wrote it, it’s called Strange Charm.

(singing)
A quark is a fundamental constituent of matter
Observed in nineteen sixty eight through deep elastic scatter
We found that protons aren’t as simple as we thought
We thought they were solid particles but they are not

Protons are in fact made up of three separate pieces
It just gets more confusing as our knowledge increases
But that is what a quark is, it’s a piece of a proton
And they also make up other things including the neutron

Oh up, down, strange, charm, top, bottom,
If you don’t know what a quark is it don’t matter you still got ’em
And with leptons and bosons unless something’s amiss
They make up everything that we can see and that we know exists

Things made up of quarks including protons and neutrons
Are composite particles that Physicists call hadrons
Many types of hadrons are theoretically described
But most only exist for very brief amounts of time

Quarks have electric charge, color charge, mass and spin
And having color charge means they exist solely in-
side of other kinds of particles and cannot exist alone
Which is why quarks have never been studied on their own

Up, down, strange charm, top, bottom,
If you don’t know what a quark is it don’t matter you still got ’em
And with leptons and bosons unless something’s amiss
They make up everything that we can see and that we know exists

Quarks can join together in two different ways
Baryons and Mesons, but most instantly decay
If a particle has three quarks, then it’s a baryon
And if there’s one quark and an anti-quark, then it is a meson

These tiny bits of matter are part of almost everything
And there is no unified theory to make it less confusing
But the fact that we’ve identified that they exist at all
Is so God damn remarkable that I just sit in awe

Oh up, down, strange charm, top, bottom,
If you don’t know what a quark is it don’t matter you still got ’em
And with leptons and bosons unless something’s amiss
They make up everything that we can see and that we know exists

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