Quarks, Leptons and the LHC

This talk for A-level students introduces the basic building blocks of the universe, the quarks and leptons, together with the forces they experience. The weak interaction shows how unstable particles can decay. The properties of the strong interaction explain why only certain combinations of quarks are ever observed, resulting in particles which can be illustrated by geometric patterns. In the course of the discussion, the reason for some of the somewhat silly names used by particle physicists will be revealed!

The talk ends with a very brief overview of how experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN are addressing unsolved questions about why the particles are as they are.