Timeline to Standard Model

Key Ideas

  • Fundamental Interactions / Forces
  • Classical Physics vs Quantum Physics
  • Fields and Particles

17th Century

  • 1687 Classical Mechanics
    • Phenomena exert forces on objects directly and instantaneously.
  • Classical Physics…
    • … tracks objects through space and time
    • … generates deterministic predictions
    • … uses continuous quantities

19th Century

  • 1808 John Dalton revived the atomic theory to explain chemical phenomena
  • 1864 Theory of Electromagnetism
    • Charged particles exert forces on other charged particles, indirectly by electric and magnetic fields propagating at the speed of light.

20th Century

  • 1897 The first subatomic particle, the electron, was discovered
  • 1905 Special Relativity
    • The speed of light is the same in all non-accelerating reference frames, with the result that;
      • The elapsed time of an event may be different in different reference frames
      • The length of a rod may be different in different reference frames
  • 1911 Rutherford’s Planetary Model of the Atom
    • Rutherford’s idea was that the electromagnetic force from nuclear protons keeps the electrons in orbit, just as the gravitational force from the Sun keeps the planets in orbit.
    • The idea fails because, per the laws of electromagnetism, the orbiting electrons would quickly lose energy and crash into the nucleus.
  • 1915 General Relativity
    • The core idea of General Relativity, Einstein’s theory of gravitation, is that gravity is the curvature of spacetime.
  • 1925 Quantum Mechanics
    • In contrast to Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics…
      • … does not track particles through space and time
      • … generates probabilistic predictions
      • … uses discrete (quantized) quantities
    • Sean Carroll: the two greatest revolutions in physics:
      • Newton’s development of classical mechanics in the 1600s
      • The replacement of Newton’s theory with Quantum Mechanics
  • 1940s Quantum Electrodynamics (QED)
    • QED governs the electromagnetic interaction
  • 1960s Electroweak Theory (EWT)
    • EWT governs the weak and electromagnetic interactions
  • 1973 Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD)
    • QCD governs the strong interaction
  • 1975 Standard Model of Particle Physics (SMPP)
    • The Standard Model postulates
      • Quantum Fields and their particles
      • The equations governing their behavior, Quantified Field Theory

Nobel Laureates of the Standard Model