Quanta Magazine

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What is a particle?

Natalie Wolchover for Quanta Magazine asked several physicists what a particle is. She came away with several points of view. For example, the particle as a “irreducible representation of a group”: It’s the standard deep answer of people in the know: Particles are “representations” of “symmetry groups,” which are sets of transformations that can be done to objects. Take, for example, an equilateral triangle. Rotating it by 120 or 240...

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