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The Higgs boson is a hypothetical massive scalar elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics. At present there are no known elementary scalar bosons (spin-0 particles) in nature, although many composite spin-0 particles are known. The existence of the particle is postulated as a means of resolving inconsistencies in current theoretical physics, and attempts are being made to confirm the existence of the particle by experimentation, using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN and the Tevatron at Fermilab. Other theories exist that do not anticipate the Higgs boson, described elsewhere as the Higgsless model.
The Higgs boson is the only Standard Model particle that has not been observed. It is a consequence of the so-called Higgs mechanism which is the part of the Standard Model which explains how most of the known elementary particles become massive. For example, the Higgs boson would explain the difference between the massless photon, which mediates electromagnetism, and the massive W and Z bosons, which mediate the weak force. If the Higgs boson exists, it is an integral and pervasive component of the material world.
Relatively model-independent arguments suggest that any mechanism which generates the masses of the elementary particles must be visible below 1.4 TeV. Therefore the Large Hadron Collider is expected to provide experimental evidence of the existence or non-existence of the Higgs boson. Experiments at Fermilab also continue previous attempts at detection, albeit hindered by the lower energy of the Tevatron accelerator, although it theoretically has the necessary energy to produce the Higgs boson.
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Quarks have various intrinsic properties, including electric charge, color charge, spin, and mass. Quarks are the only elementary particles in the Standard Model of particle physics to experience all four fundamental interactions, also known as fundamental forces (electromagnetism, gravitation, strong interaction, and weak interaction), as well as the only known particles whose electric charges are not integer multiples of the elementary charge. For every quark flavor there is a corresponding type of antiparticle, known as antiquark, that differs from the quark only in that some of its properties have equal magnitude but opposite sign.
The quark model was independently proposed by physicists Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig in 1964. Quarks were introduced as parts of an ordering scheme for hadrons, and there was little evidence for their physical existence until deep inelastic scattering experiments at SLAC in 1968. All six flavors of quark have since been observed in accelerator experiments; the top quark, first observed at Fermilab in 1995, was the last to be discovered.
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