A joint Fermilab/SLAC publication
Chris Smith

The ABCs of particle physics


Take an interactive animated journey through the particle physics alphabet.

Accelerators and black holes and cryostats, oh my!

We know particle physics can seem daunting at times, but everything’s more fun to learn when it rhymes. So we’re breaking it down, letter by letter, with hopes that you’ll understand physics much better.

That’s right: Inspired by children’s books, we’ve pulled 26 of our favorite particle physics concepts into a short, rhyming collection for folks of all ages. You’ve heard “A is for apple,” but here at Symmetry, A is also for accelerator.

For those wanting a little bonus knowledge beyond the rhyme, we’ve included additional physics info for each letter. This interactive animated journey through the alphabet will lead you to minuscule particles, high-tech equipment, far-out phenomena and fascinating theories.

This interactive trip works best in Chrome and Firefox and at resolutions 1280 x 800 and higher. Ready?

Click to journey through the ABCs of particle physics!

Animations not working? Things running slowly? Click here instead for a non-animated version.

Prefer a hard copy? Print out a PDF.