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List of Particles


All particles are either fermions or bosons.

Fermions. (half-integer spin 1/2, 3/2, 5/2, etc.) Matter is made of fermions. Fermions obey the exclusion principle; fermions in the same state cannot be in the same place at the same time.

Bosons. (integer spin 0, 1, 2, etc.) Forces are carried by bosons with non-zero spin. Bosons do not obey the exclusion principle; bosons in the same state can be in the same place at the same time.


Standard Particles

This is a list of all the particles in the current standard model of particle physics plus the graviton [predicted]. (See also the graphical Particles chart.)

Elementary particles

Elementary Fermions

Quarks. (spin 1/2) The protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom are made of quarks. There are six types or "flavors" or quarks: down, up, strange, charm, bottom, and top. Each comes in three "color" charges: red, green, and blue.

Leptons. (spin 1/2)

Electron and its two heavier sisters, the muon and tau. Atoms have a nucleus surrounded by electrons.

Neutrinos, the electron neutrino, muon neutrino, and tau neutrino. Lightweight and weakly interacting.

Elementary Bosons

Graviton. (spin 2) Gravitons [predicted] carry the gravity force.

Gluon. (spin 1) Gluons carry the strong force, also called the nuclear force or color force. The strong force holds quarks together.

W± and Z bosons. (spin 1) W± and Z bosons carry the weak force. The weak force is responsible for radioactivity.

Photon. (spin 1) Photons carry the eletromagnetic force. Photons are particles of light. Light is an electromagnetic wave.

Higgs boson. (spin 0) The Higgs boson is an excitation the Higgs field. The Higgs field gives other particles their inertial mass.

Electroweak W and B bosons. (spin 1) W1, W2, W3, and B bosons carry the electroweak force. When the electroweak force split into the electromagnetic and weak forces, the W1, W2, W3, B, and Higgs remixed to make W±, Z, photon, and Higgs.

Composite particles. Composite particles (hadrons) are composed of other particles.

Baryons. (spin 1/2, 3/2) Baryons are fermions composed of three quarks. The most important baryons are the two nucleons: the proton (up-up-down quarks) and the neutron (up-down-down quarks). Some other baryons are the sigma, lambda, xi, delta, and omega-minus.

Mesons. (spin 0, 1) Mesons are bosons composed of a quark and antiquark. Some mesons are the pion, kaon, eta, rho, omega, and phi.

Antiparticles. All particles have a corresponding anti-particle that is identical in many ways but opposite in others; for example, the mass and spin are the same but the charge is opposite. An uncharged particle may be its own anti-particle.


Hypothetical Particles

There are many theories, such as grand unified theories, supersymmetry, supergravity, and superstrings, that postulate additional particles that are not in the standard model of particle physics. Here are the names of some of these hypothetical particles.

Supersymmetric partners. Every standard particle may have a superpartner particle: a fermion for each boson and a boson for each fermion.

Standard Fermions spin Partner Bosons spin
quark 1/2 squark 0
electron 1/2 selectron 0
neutrino 1/2 sneutrino 0
Standard Bosons spin Partner Fermions spin
graviton 2 gravitino 3/2
gluon 1 gluino 1/2
W±, Z 1 wino, zino 1/2
photon 1 photino 1/2
Higgs 0 Higgsino 1/2

Other particle names used in supersymmetry:

sparticle: The supersymmetric partner of any particle.
slepton: The partner of a lepton (electron or neutrino).
gaugino: The partner of a gauge boson (photon, W, Z, or gluon).
electroweak wino and bino: The partners of electroweak bosons (W and B).
neutralino: A mixture of neutral particles (photino, zino, and Higgsino, or electroweak wino, bino, and Higgsino). Dark matter may be neutralinos.
chargino: A mixture of charged particles (wino and Higgsino).

Strings. String theory postulates that all elementary particles are really tiny strings with different vibration modes.

Neutrino variations. Standard left-handed neutrinos are detectable through weak interactions. Grand unified theories postulate right-handed neutrinos that may be too heavy to be detectable. Sterile neutrinos have no interactions except gravity.

Axions. Lightweight spin 0 particles proposed to solve the strong CP problem and explain the the absence of an electrical dipole moment for the neutron. Dark matter may be axions.

X and Y bosons. Grand unified theories postulate particles mediating the grand unified force, analogous to the W and Z bosons.

Magnetic monopoles. North and south monopoles, analogous to positive and negative charged particles. Grand unified theories postulate magnetic monopoles.

Graviton variations. The spin 1 graviphoton and the spin 0 graviscalar (also known as the radion or dilaton).

Tachyons. Particles that travels faster than light and backward in time.

Goldstone bosons. A type of spin 0 particle that that is necessary wherever there is a broken symmetry.

Hypothetical Composite Particles

Exotic baryons. Fermions composed of multiple particles, but not just three quarks. The pentaquark has five quarks.

Exotic mesons. Bosons composed of multiple particles, but not just two quarks. The tetraquark has four quarks. The glueball is composed of gluons.


Quasi-particles and other non-particles

Many quantized states are not real particles, but are conveniently named and treated as if they were real particles. Some are the quantized modes of collections of particles.

Soliton. A stable solitary wave packet arising from a combination of waves. Solitons are found in many physical phenomena, large and small.

Phonon. A quantized sound wave.

Electron hole. The absence of a negatively-charged electron in a semiconductor, treated as if it were a positively-charged particle.

Cooper pair. A pair of electrons (fermions) in a superconductor, treated like a single boson.

Exciton. A bound state of an electron and an electron hole.

Magnon. A quantized spin wave.

Plasmon. A quantized plasma oscillation.

Polaron. A quantized polarization field.


Particles chart (PDF) | elements.wlonk.com
Keith Enevoldsen