Standard model

The Standard Model of particle physics is a theory concerning the electromagnetic, weak, and strong nuclear interactions, as well as classifying all the subatomic particles known. 

It was developed throughout the latter half of the 20th century as a collaborative effort of scientists around the world.


The current known particles. image: MissMJ / wikipedia


The current formulation was finalised in the mid-1970s upon experimental confirmation of the existence of quarks. Since then, discoveries of the top quark (1995), the tau neutrino (2000), and more recently the Higgs boson (2012), have given further credence to the Standard Model. 

Because of its success in explaining a wide variety of experimental results, the Standard Model is sometimes regarded as a "theory of almost everything".

Limitations

Although the Standard Model is believed to be theoretically self-consistent and has demonstrated huge and continued successes in providing experimental predictions, it does leave some phenomena unexplained and it falls short of being a complete theory of fundamental interactions. 

It does not incorporate the full theory of gravitation as described by general relativity, or account for the accelerating expansion of the universe (as possibly described by dark energy). 

The model does not contain any viable dark matter particle that possesses all of the required properties deduced from observational cosmology. It also does not incorporate neutrino oscillations (and their non-zero masses).

source adapted from Standard Model. (2015, December 31). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 08:17, January 4, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Standard_Model&oldid=697582361