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Building Blocks of the Universe

3. The Standard Model

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In this mini-lecture we explore the Standard Model of Particle Physics, focusing in particular on: (i) six quarks (up, down, charm, strange, top, bottom); (ii) the rules for how quarks and antiquarks combine into particles such as protons, neutrons, and mesons; (iii) baryons, which are composed of three quarks; (iv) mesons, which are composed of a quark and an antiquark; (v) six leptons (electron, electron neutrino, muon, muon neutrino, tau, tau neutrino); and (vi) a summary of all the known particles in the Standard Model.


In this course, Professor David Berman (Queen Mary University of London) explores what the building blocks of the Universe are, that is, the elementary particles that make up everything in the world around us. In the first mini-lecture, we discuss the periodic table and how it is organised, various models of the atom, and nuclear fission and fusion. In the second mini-lecture, we introduce the antiparticle and clarify the units of charge and mass used in particle physics. In the third mini-lecture we discuss the Standard Model, in particular we look at quarks, leptons, and neutrinos. In the fourth mini-lecture, we turn towards particle physics experiments, including those done in the early days of particle physics as well as the more modern experiments, CERN and SuperK. The fifth mini-lecture delves into the experimental evidence for dark matter and dark energy, concluding with a look into String Theory, which provides a new approach to understanding the fundamental building blocks in nature: one-dimensional strings instead of point-like particles.


David Berman is a Professor of Theoretical Physics at Queen Mary. His research interests include string theory and ideas in fundamental theoretical physics, including non-commutative geometry, black holes physics, and quantum gravity. He has contributed to the Radio 4 biography series Great Lives and the In Our Time podcasts, including Great Lives: Richard Feynman (2018), Great Lives: Galileo (2019), In Our Time: Emmy Noether (2019), and In Our Time: Paul Dirac (2020).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Berman, D. (2022, January 12). Building Blocks of the Universe - The Standard Model [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Berman, David. "Building Blocks of the Universe – The Standard Model." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 12 Jan 2022,

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