quark

Definitions

General Science

Astronomy

  • Type of subatomic particle (several different quarks are known) which form the ‘building blocks’ of protons, neutrons and other nuclear particles

Electronics

  • An elementary particle, with a fractional charge of 1/3 or 2/3, combinations of which are considered to constitute all hadrons. So far six types of quarks have been identified, and a proton, for instance, consists of two up quarks and a down quark. A quark and antiquark pair form a meson. So far, an isolated quark has not been observed.

Food

  • A soft, slightly sour, curd cheese sometimes flavoured with fruit or herbs, made from skimmed, whole or buttermilk possibly with added cream. Eaten as a dessert. Contains 70 to 80 per cent water, and less than 3 per cent fat.

Origin & History of “quark”

The term quark was applied to a type of fundamental particle by its discoverer, the American physicist Murray Gell-Mann. He seems first to have used quork, but then he remembered quark, a nonsense word used by James Joyce in Finnegan’s Wake 1939, and he decided to plump for that. It first appeared in print in 1964.
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