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The quandary of the quark

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99.9% of the visible material in the universe is made of quarks but our information about them is limited by the fact that we cannot study them directly. They are inextricably bound together into subatomic particles such as the proton and neutron by the strong force, which in turn also holds the atomic nucleus together. The strong force is the mightiest of Nature’s fundamental forces and the hardest to crack, but advances in computational methods applied to the theory mean that we are at last getting to grips with it. I will describe the mathematical and numerical techniques behind Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics and the properties of the quark that are now being revealed.

This talk is part of the Rouse Ball Lectures series.

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