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Down quark

Down Quark
Composition: Elementary particle
Family: Fermion
Group: Quark
Generation: First
Mass: 4 - 8 MeV/c2
Electric charge: -1/3 e
Spin: ½

The down quark is a first-generation quark with a charge of -(1/3)e. It is the second-lightest of all quarks. Its bare mass is not well determined, but probably lies between 4 and 8 MeV. According to the Standard Model of particle physics, it and the up quark are the fundamental constituents of the nucleons; the proton contains one down quark and two up quarks, while the neutron contains two down quarks and one up quark. (Note that the majority of the mass in nucleons comes from the energy in the gluon field holding the quarks together, and not the quark masses themselves.)

Down quarks were named when Gell-Mann and Zweig developed the quark model in 1964, and the first evidence for them was found in deep inelastic scattering experiments at SLAC in 1967.

Hadrons containing down quarks

Some of the hadrons containing down quarks include:

  • Charged Pions±) are mesons containing an up quark and an anti-down quark, or vice versa.
  • The neutral pion (π0) is a linear combination of up-antiup and down-antidown, as are the ρ and ω mesons.
  • The η and η' flavorless mesons are linear combinations of several quark-antiquark pairs, including down-antidown.
  • A large number of detected baryons contain one or more down quarks. Like the nucleons, the Δ baryons are made of only up and down quarks: the Δ+ contains one down quark, the Δ0 contains two, and the Δ contains three.

See also

  • Isospin
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Down_quark". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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