Quarks are fundamental particles in the Standard Model of particle physics. They make up the protons and neutrons that we are familiar with, but also a zoo of other more exotic particle systems like pions and kaons. Quarks have never been isolated; they always form groups of two or three. But what are the rules that govern these quarks systems?
Find out more with the quark puzzle, a set of 3D printable pieces that represent quarks. Each piece is labelled with a quark type, electric charge and colour charge, and has joints that allow it to connect to other quark pieces. You can use these to discover the rules of the strong interaction and colour charge, or to build your own models of particle systems. The 2D version of this puzzle was orgininally proposed by Gettrust, E. (2010).
There are different sets available:
- a 3D puzzle: https://zenodo.org/record/1252868#.W3ExGOgzaUk
- 2D paper puzzle pieces based on QuarkNet activity
- A set of quark cookie cutters to make your own cookies that can be combined according to the laws of the Standard Model of particle physics (Yum!): https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3047682
Read more about this activity here: McGinness, L., Dührkoop, S., Jansky, A., Woithe, J. (2019). 3D Printable Quark Puzzle: A Model to Build Your Own Particle Systems. The Physics Teacher 57(8), DOI: https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5131116