Theory of particle physics
The Standard Model of particle physics is the theory describing three of the four known fundamental forces (the electromagnetic, weak, and strong interactions, and not including gravity) in the universe, as well as classifying all known elementary particles. It was developed in stages throughout the latter half of the 20th century, through the work of many scientists around the world,^{[1]} with the current formulation being finalized in the mid1970s upon experimental confirmation of the existence of quarks. Since then, confirmation of the top quark (1995), the tau neutrino (2000), and the Higgs boson (2012) have added further credence to the Standard Model. In addition, the Standard Model has predicted various properties of weak neutral currents and the W and Z bosons with great accuracy.
Although the Standard Model is believed to be theoretically selfconsistent^{[2]} and has demonstrated huge successes in providing experimental predictions, it leaves some phenomena unexplained and falls short of being a complete theory of fundamental interactions. It does not fully explain baryon asymmetry, incorporate the full theory of gravitation^{[3]} as described by general relativity, or account for the accelerating expansion of the Universe as possibly described by dark energy. The model does not contain any viable dark matter particle that possesses all of the required properties deduced from observational cosmology. It also does not incorporate neutrino oscillations and their nonzero masses.
The development of the Standard Model was driven by theoretical and experimental particle physicists alike. For theorists, the Standard Model is a paradigm of a quantum field theory, which exhibits a wide range of phenomena including spontaneous symmetry breaking, anomalies and nonperturbative behavior. It is used as a basis for building more exotic models that incorporate hypothetical particles, extra dimensions, and elaborate symmetries (such as supersymmetry) in an attempt to explain experimental results at variance with the Standard Model, such as the existence of dark matter and neutrino oscillations.
Historical background
In 1954, Chen Ning Yang and Robert Mills extended the concept of gauge theory for abelian groups, e.g. quantum electrodynamics, to nonabelian groups to provide an explanation for strong interactions.^{[4]} In 1957, ChienShiung Wu demonstrated parity was not conserved in the weak interaction.^{[5]}
In 1961, Sheldon Glashow combined the electromagnetic and weak interactions.^{[6]} In 1967 Steven Weinberg^{[7]} and Abdus Salam^{[8]} incorporated the Higgs mechanism^{[9]}^{[10]}^{[11]} into Glashow's electroweak interaction, giving it its modern form.
The Higgs mechanism is believed to give rise to the masses of all the elementary particles in the Standard Model. This includes the masses of the W and Z bosons, and the masses of the fermions, i.e. the quarks and leptons.
After the neutral weak currents caused by Z boson exchange were discovered at CERN in 1973,^{[12]}^{[13]}^{[14]}^{[15]} the electroweak theory became widely accepted and Glashow, Salam, and Weinberg shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering it. The W^{±} and Z^{0} bosons were discovered experimentally in 1983; and the ratio of their masses was found to be as the Standard Model predicted.^{[16]}
The theory of the strong interaction (i.e. quantum chromodynamics, QCD), to which many contributed, acquired its modern form in 1973–74 when asymptotic freedom was proposed^{[17]}^{[18]} (a development which made QCD the main focus of theoretical research)^{[19]} and experiments confirmed that the hadrons were composed of fractionally charged quarks.^{[20]}^{[21]}
The term "Standard Model" was first coined by Abraham Pais and Sam Treiman in 1975,^{[22]} with reference to the electroweak theory with four quarks.^{[23]}
Particle content
The Standard Model includes members of several classes of elementary particles, which in turn can be distinguished by other characteristics, such as color charge.
All particles can be summarized as follows:
Notes:
[†] An antielectron (^{}
_{}e^{+}
_{}) is conventionally called a “positron”.
Fermions
The Standard Model includes 12 elementary particles of spin ^{1}⁄_{2}, known as fermions. According to the spin–statistics theorem, fermions respect the Pauli exclusion principle. Each fermion has a corresponding antiparticle.
The defining property of quarks is that they carry color charge, and hence interact via the strong interaction. The phenomenon of color confinement results in quarks being very strongly bound to one another, forming colorneutral composite particles called hadrons that contain either a quark and an antiquark (mesons) or three quarks (baryons). The lightest baryons are the proton and the neutron. Quarks also carry electric charge and weak isospin. Hence they interact with other fermions via electromagnetism and the weak interaction. The remaining six fermions do not carry color charge and are called leptons. The three neutrinos do not carry electric charge either, so their motion is directly influenced only by the weak nuclear force, which makes them notoriously difficult to detect. By contrast, by virtue of carrying an electric charge, the electron, muon, and tau all interact electromagnetically.
Each member of a generation has greater mass than the corresponding particles of lower generations. The firstgeneration charged particles do not decay, hence all ordinary (baryonic) matter is made of such particles. Specifically, all atoms consist of electrons orbiting around atomic nuclei, ultimately constituted of up and down quarks. On the other hand, second and thirdgeneration charged particles decay with very short halflives and are observed only in very highenergy environments. Neutrinos of all generations also do not decay, and pervade the universe, but rarely interact with baryonic matter.
Gauge bosons
The above interactions form the basis of the standard model. All Feynman diagrams in the standard model are built from combinations of these vertices. The first row contains the quantum chromodynamics vertices. The second row contains the electromagnetic vertex. The third row contains the weak vertices. The fourth row contains the Higgs vertices. The final row contains the electroweak vertices.
${\textstyle q}$ is any quark,
${\textstyle X^{+/}}$ is any charged particle,
${\textstyle \gamma }$ is a photon,
${\textstyle f}$ is any fermion,
${\textstyle m}$ is any particle with mass (with the possible exception of the neutrinos),
${\textstyle m_{B}}$ is any boson with mass. For diagrams with multiple particle labels on one line, one particle label is chosen. For diagrams with coloured particle labels the particles must be chosen so there is two of one colour in the diagram. i.e. for the four electroweak boson case the valid diagrams are
${\textstyle WWWW}$,
${\textstyle WWZZ}$,
${\textstyle WW\gamma \gamma }$ and
${\textstyle WWZ\gamma }$. The conjugate of each listed vertex (reversing the direction of arrows) is also allowed.
^{[24]}
In the Standard Model, gauge bosons are defined as force carriers that mediate the strong, weak, and electromagnetic fundamental interactions.
Interactions in physics are the ways that particles influence other particles. At a macroscopic level, electromagnetism allows particles to interact with one another via electric and magnetic fields, and gravitation allows particles with mass to attract one another in accordance with Einstein's theory of general relativity. The Standard Model explains such forces as resulting from matter particles exchanging other particles, generally referred to as force mediating particles. When a forcemediating particle is exchanged, the effect at a macroscopic level is equivalent to a force influencing both of them, and the particle is therefore said to have mediated (i.e., been the agent of) that force. The Feynman diagram calculations, which are a graphical representation of the perturbation theory approximation, invoke "force mediating particles", and when applied to analyze highenergy scattering experiments are in reasonable agreement with the data. However, perturbation theory (and with it the concept of a "forcemediating particle") fails in other situations. These include lowenergy quantum chromodynamics, bound states, and solitons.
The gauge bosons of the Standard Model all have spin (as do matter particles). The value of the spin is 1, making them bosons. As a result, they do not follow the Pauli exclusion principle that constrains fermions: thus bosons (e.g. photons) do not have a theoretical limit on their spatial density (number per volume). The types of gauge bosons are described below.
 Photons mediate the electromagnetic force between electrically charged particles. The photon is massless and is welldescribed by the theory of quantum electrodynamics.
 The ^{}
_{}W^{+}
_{}, ^{}
_{}W^{−}
_{}, and ^{}
_{}Z^{}
_{} gauge bosons mediate the weak interactions between particles of different flavors (all quarks and leptons). They are massive, with the ^{}
_{}Z^{}
_{} being more massive than the ^{}
_{}W^{±}
_{}. The weak interactions involving the ^{}
_{}W^{±}
_{} act only on lefthanded particles and righthanded antiparticles. The ^{}
_{}W^{±}
_{} carries an electric charge of +1 and −1 and couples to the electromagnetic interaction. The electrically neutral ^{}
_{}Z^{}
_{} boson interacts with both lefthanded particles and antiparticles. These three gauge bosons along with the photons are grouped together, as collectively mediating the electroweak interaction.
 The eight gluons mediate the strong interactions between color charged particles (the quarks). Gluons are massless. The eightfold multiplicity of gluons is labeled by a combination of color and anticolor charge (e.g. red–antigreen).^{[note 1]} Because gluons have an effective color charge, they can also interact among themselves. Gluons and their interactions are described by the theory of quantum chromodynamics.
The interactions between all the particles described by the Standard Model are summarized by the diagrams on the right of this section.
Higgs boson
The Higgs particle is a massive scalar elementary particle theorized by Peter Higgs in 1964, when he showed that Goldstone's 1962 theorem (generic continuous symmetry, which is spontaneously broken) provides a third polarisation of a massive vector field. Hence, Goldstone's original scalar doublet, the massive spinzero particle, was proposed as the Higgs boson, and is a key building block in the Standard Model.^{[9]}^{[10]}^{[11]}^{[25]} It has no intrinsic spin, and for that reason is classified as a boson (like the gauge bosons, which have integer spin).
The Higgs boson plays a unique role in the Standard Model, by explaining why the other elementary particles, except the photon and gluon, are massive. In particular, the Higgs boson explains why the photon has no mass, while the W and Z bosons are very heavy. Elementaryparticle masses, and the differences between electromagnetism (mediated by the photon) and the weak force (mediated by the W and Z bosons), are critical to many aspects of the structure of microscopic (and hence macroscopic) matter. In electroweak theory, the Higgs boson generates the masses of the leptons (electron, muon, and tau) and quarks. As the Higgs boson is massive, it must interact with itself.
Because the Higgs boson is a very massive particle and also decays almost immediately when created, only a very highenergy particle accelerator can observe and record it. Experiments to confirm and determine the nature of the Higgs boson using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN began in early 2010 and were performed at Fermilab's Tevatron until its closure in late 2011. Mathematical consistency of the Standard Model requires that any mechanism capable of generating the masses of elementary particles must become visible^{[clarification needed]} at energies above 1.4 TeV;^{[26]} therefore, the LHC (designed to collide two 7 TeV proton beams) was built to answer the question of whether the Higgs boson actually exists.^{[27]}
On 4 July 2012, two of the experiments at the LHC (ATLAS and CMS) both reported independently that they found a new particle with a mass of about 125 GeV/c^{2} (about 133 proton masses, on the order of 10×10^{−25} kg), which is "consistent with the Higgs boson".^{[28]}^{[29]}^{[30]}^{[31]}^{[32]}^{[33]}
On 13 March 2013, it was confirmed to be the searchedfor Higgs boson.^{[34]}^{[35]}
Theoretical aspects
Construction of the Standard Model Lagrangian
Parameters of the Standard Model

Symbol

Description

Renormalization scheme (point)

Value

m_{e}

Electron mass


0.511 MeV

m_{μ}

Muon mass


105.7 MeV

m_{τ}

Tau mass


1.78 GeV

m_{u}

Up quark mass

μ_{MS} = 2 GeV

1.9 MeV

m_{d}

Down quark mass

μ_{MS} = 2 GeV

4.4 MeV

m_{s}

Strange quark mass

μ_{MS} = 2 GeV

87 MeV

m_{c}

Charm quark mass

μ_{MS} = m_{c}

1.32 GeV

m_{b}

Bottom quark mass

μ_{MS} = m_{b}

4.24 GeV

m_{t}

Top quark mass

On shell scheme

173.5 GeV

θ_{12}

CKM 12mixing angle


13.1°

θ_{23}

CKM 23mixing angle


2.4°

θ_{13}

CKM 13mixing angle


0.2°

δ

CKM CP violation Phase


0.995

g_{1} or g'

U(1) gauge coupling

μ_{MS} = m_{Z}

0.357

g_{2} or g

SU(2) gauge coupling

μ_{MS} = m_{Z}

0.652

g_{3} or g_{s}

SU(3) gauge coupling

μ_{MS} = m_{Z}

1.221

θ_{QCD}

QCD vacuum angle


~0

v

Higgs vacuum expectation value


246 GeV

m_{H}

Higgs mass


125.09±0.24 GeV

Technically, quantum field theory provides the mathematical framework for the Standard Model, in which a Lagrangian controls the dynamics and kinematics of the theory. Each kind of particle is described in terms of a dynamical field that pervades spacetime. The construction of the Standard Model proceeds following the modern method of constructing most field theories: by first postulating a set of symmetries of the system, and then by writing down the most general renormalizable Lagrangian from its particle (field) content that observes these symmetries.
The global Poincaré symmetry is postulated for all relativistic quantum field theories. It consists of the familiar translational symmetry, rotational symmetry and the inertial reference frame invariance central to the theory of special relativity. The local SU(3)×SU(2)×U(1) gauge symmetry is an internal symmetry that essentially defines the Standard Model. Roughly, the three factors of the gauge symmetry give rise to the three fundamental interactions. The fields fall into different representations of the various symmetry groups of the Standard Model (see table). Upon writing the most general Lagrangian, one finds that the dynamics depends on 19 parameters, whose numerical values are established by experiment. The parameters are summarized in the table (made visible by clicking "show") above (note: the Higgs mass is at 125 GeV, the Higgs selfcoupling strength λ ~ ^{1}⁄_{8}).
Quantum chromodynamics sector
The quantum chromodynamics (QCD) sector defines the interactions between quarks and gluons, which is a Yang–Mills gauge theory with SU(3) symmetry, generated by T^{a}. Since leptons do not interact with gluons, they are not affected by this sector. The Dirac Lagrangian of the quarks coupled to the gluon fields is given by
 ${\mathcal {L}}_{\text{QCD}}=\sum _{\psi }{\overline {\psi }}_{i}\left(i\gamma ^{\mu }(\partial _{\mu }\delta _{ij}ig_{s}G_{\mu }^{a}T_{ij}^{a})\right)\psi _{j}{\frac {1}{4}}G_{\mu \nu }^{a}G_{a}^{\mu \nu },$
where
 ψ^{}
_{i} is the Dirac spinor of the quark field, where i = {r, g, b} represents color,
 γ^{μ} are the Dirac matrices,
 G^{a}
_{μ} is the 8component ($a=1,2,\dots ,8$) SU(3) gauge field,
 T^{a}
_{ij} are the 3 × 3 GellMann matrices, generators of the SU(3) color group,
 G^{a}
_{μν} represents the gluon field strength tensor,
 g_{s} is the strong coupling constant.
Electroweak sector
The electroweak sector is a Yang–Mills gauge theory with the symmetry group U(1) × SU(2)_{L},
 ${\mathcal {L}}_{\text{EW}}=\sum _{\psi }{\bar {\psi }}\gamma ^{\mu }\left(i\partial _{\mu }g'{\tfrac {1}{2}}Y_{\text{W}}B_{\mu }g{\tfrac {1}{2}}{\vec {\tau }}_{\text{L}}{\vec {W}}_{\mu }\right)\psi {\tfrac {1}{4}}W_{a}^{\mu \nu }W_{\mu \nu }^{a}{\tfrac {1}{4}}B^{\mu \nu }B_{\mu \nu },$
where
 B_{μ} is the U(1) gauge field,
 Y_{W} is the weak hypercharge – the generator of the U(1) group,
 W→_{μ} is the 3component SU(2) gauge field,
 τ_{L}→ are the Pauli matrices – infinitesimal generators of the SU(2) group – with subscript L to indicate that they only act on leftchiral fermions,
 g' and g are the U(1) and SU(2) coupling constants respectively,
 $W^{a\mu \nu }$ ($a=1,2,3$) and $B^{\mu \nu }$ are the field strength tensors for the weak isospin and weak hypercharge fields.
Notice that the addition of fermion mass terms into the electroweak lagrangian is forbidden, since terms of the form $m{\overline {\psi }}\psi$ do not respect U(1) × SU(2)_{L} gauge invariance. Neither is it possible to add explicit mass terms for the U(1) and SU(2) gauge fields. The Higgs mechanism is responsible for the generation of the gauge boson masses, and the fermion masses result from Yukawatype interactions with the Higgs field.
Higgs sector
In the Standard Model, the Higgs field is a complex scalar of the group SU(2)_{L}:
 $\varphi ={\frac {1}{\sqrt {2}}}\left({\begin{array}{c}\varphi ^{+}\\\varphi ^{0}\end{array}}\right),$
where the superscripts + and 0 indicate the electric charge (Q) of the components. The weak hypercharge (Y_{W}) of both components is 1.
Before symmetry breaking, the Higgs Lagrangian is
 ${\mathcal {L}}_{\text{H}}=\varphi ^{\dagger }\left(\partial ^{\mu }{\frac {i}{2}}\left(g'Y_{\text{W}}B^{\mu }+g{\vec {\tau }}{\vec {W}}^{\mu }\right)\right)\left(\partial _{\mu }+{\frac {i}{2}}\left(g'Y_{\text{W}}B_{\mu }+g{\vec {\tau }}{\vec {W}}_{\mu }\right)\right)\varphi {\frac {\lambda ^{2}}{4}}\left(\varphi ^{\dagger }\varphi v^{2}\right)^{2},$
which up to a divergence term, (i.e. after partial integration) can also be written as
 ${\mathcal {L}}_{\text{H}}=\left\left(\partial _{\mu }+{\frac {i}{2}}\left(g'Y_{\text{W}}B_{\mu }+g{\vec {\tau }}{\vec {W}}_{\mu }\right)\right)\varphi \right^{2}{\frac {\lambda ^{2}}{4}}\left(\varphi ^{\dagger }\varphi v^{2}\right)^{2}.$
Yukawa sector
The Yukawa interaction terms are
 ${\mathcal {L}}_{\text{Yukawa}}={\overline {U}}_{\rm {L}}G_{\rm {u}}U_{\rm {R}}\varphi ^{0}{\overline {D}}_{\rm {L}}G_{\rm {u}}U_{\rm {R}}\varphi ^{}+{\overline {U}}_{\rm {L}}G_{\rm {d}}D_{\rm {R}}\varphi ^{+}+{\overline {D}}_{\rm {L}}G_{\rm {d}}D_{\rm {R}}\varphi ^{0}+\mathrm {h.c.} ,$
where G_{u,d} are 3 × 3 matrices of Yukawa couplings, with the ij term giving the coupling of the generations i and j.
Fundamental interactions
 This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2015) 
The Standard Model describes three of the four fundamental interactions in nature; only gravity remains unexplained. In the Standard Model, such an interaction is described as an exchange of bosons between the objects affected, such as a photon for the electromagnetic force and a gluon for the strong interaction. Those particles are called force carriers or messenger particles.^{[36]}
The four fundamental interactions of nature^{[37]}
Property/Interaction

Gravitation

Electroweak

Strong

Weak

Electromagnetic

Fundamental

Residual

Mediating particles

Not yet observed (Graviton hypothesised)

W^{+}, W^{−} and Z^{0}

γ (photon)

Gluons

π, ρ and ω mesons

Affected particles

All particles

Lefthanded fermions

Electrically charged

Quarks, gluons

Hadrons

Acts on

Mass, energy

Flavor

Electric charge

Color charge


Bound states formed

Planets, stars, galaxies, galaxy groups

n/a

Atoms, molecules

Hadrons

Atomic nuclei

Strength at the scale of quarks (relative to electromagnetism)

10^{−41} (predicted)

10^{−4}

1

60

Not applicable to quarks

Strength at the scale of protons/neutrons (relative to electromagnetism)

10^{−36} (predicted)

10^{−7}

1

Not applicable to hadrons

20

Tests and predictions
The Standard Model predicted the existence of the W and Z bosons, gluon, and the top and charm quarks and predicted many of their properties before these particles were observed. The predictions were experimentally confirmed with good precision.^{[38]}
The Standard Model also predicted the existence of the Higgs boson, found in 2012 at the Large Hadron Collider, as its last particle.^{[39]}
Challenges
Unsolved problem in physics:
 What gives rise to the Standard Model of particle physics?
 Why do particle masses and coupling constants have the values that we measure?
 Why are there three generations of particles?
 Why is there more matter than antimatter in the universe?
 Where does dark matter fit into the model? Does it even consist of one or more new particles?
Selfconsistency of the Standard Model (currently formulated as a nonabelian gauge theory quantized through pathintegrals) has not been mathematically proven. While regularized versions useful for approximate computations (for example lattice gauge theory) exist, it is not known whether they converge (in the sense of Smatrix elements) in the limit that the regulator is removed. A key question related to the consistency is the Yang–Mills existence and mass gap problem.
Experiments indicate that neutrinos have mass, which the classic Standard Model did not allow.^{[40]} To accommodate this finding, the classic Standard Model can be modified to include neutrino mass.
If one insists on using only Standard Model particles, this can be achieved by adding a nonrenormalizable interaction of leptons with the Higgs boson.^{[41]} On a fundamental level, such an interaction emerges in the seesaw mechanism where heavy righthanded neutrinos are added to the theory.
This is natural in the leftright symmetric extension of the Standard Model^{[42]}^{[43]} and in certain grand unified theories.^{[44]} As long as new physics appears below or around 10^{14} GeV, the neutrino masses can be of the right order of magnitude.
Theoretical and experimental research has attempted to extend the Standard Model into a unified field theory or a theory of everything, a complete theory explaining all physical phenomena including constants. Inadequacies of the Standard Model that motivate such research include:
 The model does not explain gravitation, although physical confirmation of a theoretical particle known as a graviton would account for it to a degree. Though it addresses strong and electroweak interactions, the Standard Model does not consistently explain the canonical theory of gravitation, general relativity, in terms of quantum field theory. The reason for this is, among other things, that quantum field theories of gravity generally break down before reaching the Planck scale. As a consequence, we have no reliable theory for the very early universe.
 Some physicists consider it to be ad hoc and inelegant, requiring 19 numerical constants whose values are unrelated and arbitrary.^{[45]} Although the Standard Model, as it now stands, can explain why neutrinos have masses, the specifics of neutrino mass are still unclear. It is believed that explaining neutrino mass will require an additional 7 or 8 constants, which are also arbitrary parameters.^{[46]}
 The Higgs mechanism gives rise to the hierarchy problem if some new physics (coupled to the Higgs) is present at high energy scales. In these cases, in order for the weak scale to be much smaller than the Planck scale, severe fine tuning of the parameters is required; there are, however, other scenarios that include quantum gravity in which such fine tuning can be avoided.^{[47]} There are also issues of quantum triviality, which suggests that it may not be possible to create a consistent quantum field theory involving elementary scalar particles.^{[48]}
 The model is inconsistent with the emerging LambdaCDM model of cosmology. Contentions include the absence of an explanation in the Standard Model of particle physics for the observed amount of cold dark matter (CDM) and its contributions to dark energy, which are many orders of magnitude too large. It is also difficult to accommodate the observed predominance of matter over antimatter (matter/antimatter asymmetry). The isotropy and homogeneity of the visible universe over large distances seems to require a mechanism like cosmic inflation, which would also constitute an extension of the Standard Model.
Currently, no proposed theory of everything has been widely accepted or verified.
See also
Notes
 ^ Technically, there are nine such color–anticolor combinations. However, one of these is a colorsymmetric combination that can be constructed out of a linear superposition, reducing the count to eight.
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