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Author Topic: who names particles?  (Read 1679 times)

Offline annie123

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who names particles?
« on: 22/11/2012 01:10:59 »
Who decides what particles are called - gluon, etc.? Does the ending 'on' mean something?


 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: who names particles?
« Reply #1 on: 22/11/2012 16:40:17 »
I think the -on ending all mimic the electron (or the proton).

 Rutherford called the hydrogen nuclei a proton - ie from the greek for first - as he believed that it was  the primary and fundamental building block. The electron was clearly involved in electricity / electric charge - but had another name that has fallen out of use and I cannot remember.  Other accounts have the electron named after the greek for Amber which was often used in very early science (more alchemy) to create sparks when rubbed with fur.   Bayron are heavy -ons, leptons are light -ons, hadrons are thick -ons, and positron are positive versions of electr -ons.  Bosons were named for the theorist Satayanda Bose, and Fermions for Enrico Fermi.

Other names are just those that became accepted - neutrino is an italian diminutive for of neuton, it's a neutral particle but much smaller than the neutron; it was named by the Italian born Enrico Fermi.    The quarks were named by Murray Gell-Mann after realising they needed a name that was distinct from the -ons, and chose a word he liked from a passage of James Joyce (a quark for Master Mark)

I don't know if there is now a naming committee  - but usage and claritiy will still be the most important factor
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: who names particles?
« Reply #2 on: 22/11/2012 16:42:05 »
although thinking of the up down, strange charm, top bottom set of quarks I realise my last comment about clarity is miles from the mark
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: who names particles?
« Reply #3 on: 22/11/2012 19:38:05 »
At the other extreme, the use of the term "penguin" in particle physics arose out out of a bet in the bar collaborating with some use of illegal substances http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penguin_diagram
 

Offline annie123

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Re: who names particles?
« Reply #4 on: 23/11/2012 01:34:01 »
Thanks.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: who names particles?
« Reply #5 on: 27/11/2012 11:05:27 »
The Higgs particle was named after one of the theoreticians who suggested that it might exist.

A catchy title for a book provided its nickname: "The God Particle".  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_boson#In_mainstream_media
 

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Re: who names particles?
« Reply #5 on: 27/11/2012 11:05:27 »

 

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