The concepts and ideas of elementary particle physics
are abstract, and they are typically expressed in the
language of mathematics. However, the goal of elementary
particle physics is very simple, and all the efforts
of elementary particle physicists are directed
toward that simple goal: to identify the basic building
blocks of matter and to understand how they interact
to produce the material world we observe.
This encyclopedia contains articles intended for
a broad audience of general readers and is designed
to edify and give readers an appreciation for one of
the most active and productive areas of physics
throughout the twentieth century and to the present
time. On the one hand, most of the articles have
been written in ordinary language and provide a
solid base in particle physics concepts and history for
those who are new to the field. On the other hand,
some topics in particle physics are difficult to express
in everyday words, and in the articles on such topics,
symbols appear and even an occasional equation.
Even these articles, however, are written so that the
reader with little physics background can capture a
general sense of the topic covered.
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