Development of the Standard Model

Back to Standard Model

Table of Contents

  1. Key Ideas
  2. 17th Century
  3. 19th Century
  4. 20th Century
  5. Nobel Laureates of the 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