Friday, October 14, 2011

quark song

Today, a student introduced me to the Vlogbrothers (YouTube Channel). Hank and John Green are brothers who make nerdy videos. Hank lives in Montana, and John lives in Indiana, yet they still engage in nerdy collaboration across the miles.... Apparently, it all started in 2007, when the brothers chose to refuse text communicate and only communicated through voice and vlogs for the year.

The video below is one of Hank's songs, Strange Charm. It's about quarks. Quarks are a type of particle that makes up matter. Most of the matter we see around us is made from protons and neutrons, which are composed of quarks. The most recently discovered quark (the top quark) was announced in 1995! (A shout-out to Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago, IL for the discovery!)

There are 6 types, or "flavors" of quarks: up, down, charm, strange, top, bottom. Each quark carries a fractional charge, and a color charge. (?!) According to the theory of quantum chromodynamics, quarks are always combined in groups of three quarks (of different colors) or as pairs consisting of a quark and an antiquark (of the same color). (??!!) This is more than my brain can handle, but it is pretty cool.

If you want to learn more about quarks, I suggest visiting the following sites:

Hank Green is also known for his blog, EcoGeek, which he began in graduate school as a class assignment!

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