Word of the day: hadron

You probably think that you’ve never come across the word ‘hadron’ but in fact you’ve possibly come across it in the context of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) without thinking what the word means.
The LHC is the world’s largest particle accelerator, a machine some 27 km in circumference, located on the French/Swiss border near Geneva. Once it is fully operational, it will fire beams of hadron particles in opposite directions at 99.9999991% of the speed of light, recreating the conditions that existed moments after the big bang.
So what are hadron particles? They are any elementary particles that are capable of taking part in a strong nuclear interaction. All such particles are made up of quarks – either baryons, which are made out of three quarks, or mesons, which are made out of two quarks.
So now you know. But, if you’re keen to know more, try here.


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