The Standard Model of particle physics: Theory of the subatomic world

The Standard Model is the most complete description of the subatomic world that has ever been created in modern physics. The model was built through the 20th century on the foundations of quantum mechanics, the strange theory that describes how particles behave at the tiniest scales. The Standard Model explains three of the four forces of nature: electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force. The theory has been tested thousands of times to incredible precision and, despite its shortcomings, remains one of the most important achievements of modern science.

“It’s the dominant paradigm for thinking about how things interact at the most basic level,” and it’s been “tested to a phenomenal degree of precision,” Chad Orzel, a physicist at Union College and the author of a number of popular physics books, including “How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog” (Scribner, 2009), told Live Science in an email.

How was the Standard Model developed?

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