Do Fundamental Particles Exist
I was wondering about the nature of math and quantum mechanics and how almost everything in math has its physical equivalent (although it may not be observable or understandable by humans). We have always been searching for the fundamental 'building block' particles of which all matter is made of, and over the last hundred years have found smaller and smaller particles - protons, neutrons and electrons to leptons and quarks.

Is it even possible that such a particle exists? Could we not find infinitely smaller and smaller particles until they approach a limit, just like many math problems go to a limit but not a defined answer?

Harriet Farlow
(u5348798)




I don't know. But things are not looking at all good for people who think that fundamental particles exist, at the moment. There are so many competing theories which disagree about what they are if they exist at all. And many of the theories say that there are no particles, only (for example) fields or only (for another example) modes of vibration in strings. We won't be covering those theories in detail in this course, unfortunately —- not enough time, and they need really difficult maths, and anyway there are so many of them and as far as I can tell there's no way to choose between them (with some exceptions —- a few of them are obviously wrong). Although you'll get part of the multiple-theories story when we do quantum mechanics.

Jason