Emoticons: the new physics notation

March 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm Leave a comment

u  c  t   γ
d  s  b   g
νe νμ ντ   Z
e  μ  τ   W

This is the Standard Model of fundamental particles. A fancier version:

We have six randomly-named quarks, three charge leptons and their neutrinos, and four random bosons. Why mu? Why tau? Essentially, these Greek letters are left over from the Particle Zoo. Most of the hundred-plus particles turned out to be made up of quarks, such as the pion and kaon. The muon and tau were fundamental.

We can get a neater model by using the e/μ/τ as symbols for the three generations of quarks, as well:

u  uμ uτ   γ
d  dμ dτ   g
ν  νμ ντ   Z
e  μ  τ   W

But why stop there? After all, typing subscripts is irritating. Let’s use an easier notation.

u  u' u'' h
d  d' d'' g
v  v' v'' z
e  e' e'' w+ w-

Mmmm, lowercase letters. But, why use letters at all? If we’re going to use an arbitrary notation, we might as well have fun with it.

:( ;( 8(  :P
:) ;) 8)  :B
:| ;| 8|  :O
:D ;D 8D  :[ :]

It’s consistent. It’s symmetrical. The smilies mean something; the happier ones have a more negative charge. Antiparticles? Here’s a positron:

>:D

And why stop there? The “colors” red/green/blue are pretty arbitrary. American physicists occasionally use white instead of green. Why not replace them altogether?
Introducing: the three emotions: Shocked, Sleepy and Kawaii:

O_O  -_-  ^_^
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The creative process, revealed Smiley physics update!

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