particle physics

particle physics

Study of the fundamental subatomic particles, including both matter (and antimatter) and the carrier particles of the fundamental interactions as described by quantum field theory. Particle physics is concerned with structure and forces at this level of existence and below. Fundamental particles possess properties such as electric charge, spin, mass, magnetism, and other complex characteristics, but are regarded as pointlike. All theories in particle physics involve quantum mechanics, in which symmetry is of primary importance. See also electroweak theory, lepton, meson, quantum chromodynamics, quark.


particle physics or high-energy physics

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on particle physics, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up particle physics? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.