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Antiquark

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Antiquark

An antiquark is a fundamental particle that makes up most of the mass in the antimatter. Each antiquark has an electrical charge, a baryon number, and a strange number. The symbol of an antiquark is q. Antiquarks make antimatter, with some antimatter particles being produced during events called pair creation. Antiquarks can also compose particles with a mixture of particles and antiparticles.

Antiquarks and baryon numbers

The baryon number indicates if you have a particle or an antiparticle. See the following table showing the negative quarks that make up antimatter.

ParticleSymbolElectrical chargeBaryon numberStrange number
Anti up-⅔-⅓0
Anti down+ ⅓-⅓0
Anti strange+ ⅓-⅓+1
Anti charm-⅔-⅓0
Anti top-⅔-⅓0
Anti bottom+ ⅓-⅓0

Antimatter and pair creation

The creation of antimatter occurs in the pair creation process. This happens when matter collides with a high-energy photon. The collision emits two particles, one made of matter, while the other is the antiparticle.

Antiquark. Photon collision. Pair creation. StudySmarterFigure 1. A high-energy photon collides with a nucleus, producing a positron and an electron. This also creates a particle-antiparticle pair. Source: Manuel R. Camacho, StudySmarter.

Antimatter quark composition

Antiquarks make up antimatter. They are the particles that make up antiprotons and antineutrons, which contain three antiquarks. Their symbol is as follows:

The composition of antiprotons and antineutrons is as follows:

Antiproton

As this has a charge of -1, the combined charge of the antiquarks that compose the antiproton must be -1. This requires two anti-up quarks and one anti-down quark.

The antiproton charge is determined by the addition of the three antiquarks.

The charge value indicates that you are dealing with an antiproton. Antiprotons and antineutrons can be classified as baryons, which consist of antiquarks with a baryon value of -1. See the following addition of the baryon numbers for the antiproton.

A baryon number of -1 indicates that you are dealing with a baryon made up of antimatter.

Antineutron

As this has a charge of 0, the combined charge of the antiquarks must be zero. This requires two anti-down quarks and one anti-up quark.

The addition of the charges of the three antiquarks is as follows:

The total charge indicates that you are dealing with an antineutron. Adding the antineutron’s baryon numbers must give you a value of -1.

A baryon number of -1 indicates that you are dealing with a baryon made up of antimatter.

Antiquark. Antiproton. Antiparticles. StudySmarterFigure 2. A proton and an antiproton’s quark composition. The antiproton has the same mass but a negative charge. Source: Manuel R. Camacho, StudySmarter.

Pion minus and kaon minus hadrons

Quarks can combine with antiquarks, creating a matter-antimatter duo. The pion minus and the kaon minus hadrons are two examples. The pion minus and the kaon minus are the results of the combination of an anti-up and a down quark.

  • Pion minus: a combination of an anti-up quark with a charge of -⅔ and a down quark with a charge of -⅓ and thus a total charge of -1.
  • Kaon minus: a combination of an anti-up quark with a charge of -⅔ and a strange quark with a charge of - ⅓ and thus a total charge of -1.

The pion plus and the kaon plus quarks have a baryon number of 0, indicating that they are a combination of matter and antimatter.

Antiquark - Key takeaways

  • Antimatter consists of antiparticles such as antiquarks, which compose the antineutrons and antiprotons.
  • Antiquarks have a charge value of -⅔ or + ⅓.
  • A combination of three antiquarks composes an antineutron or an antiproton. Their respective charge is 0 or -1.
  • There are also particles with a negative charge composed of quarks and antiquarks, which are called pion minus and kaon minus.

Frequently Asked Questions about Antiquark

Antiquarks are the antiparticles of the quark, which have the opposite charge and baryon number. Antiquarks have the same mass and energy at rest as quarks.

Their charge and baryon number.

There are six antiquarks.

Final Antiquark Quiz

Question

What is an antiquark?

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Answer

The antiparticle of a quark.

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Question

Name the antiquark numbers.

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Answer

The charge number, the baryon number, and the strange number.

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Question

What is the symbol of an anti-up quark?

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Answer

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Question

What is the symbol of an anti-down quark?

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Question

What is the charge of an anti-down quark?

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Answer

+⅓.

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Question

What is the charge of an anti-up quark?

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Answer

-⅔.

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Question

Name the six types of antiquarks.

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Answer

Anti-down, anti-up, anti-strange, anti-charm, anti-bottom, and anti-top.

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Question

Name an event that can create antimatter?

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Answer

A pair creation event.

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Question

How does pair creation occur?

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Answer

When a high-energy photon collides with a particle.

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Question

What is the symbol for the quark composition of an antineutron?

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What is the charge of an antiproton?

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Answer

-1.

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What is the quark symbol composition of an antiproton?

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What is the quark symbol composition of an antiproton?

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Question

How are the pion minus and the kaon minus composed?

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Answer

They are composed of a quark and an antiquark.

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Question

What is the baryon number of the pion and kaon quarks?

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Answer

0.

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Are antiquarks antimatter particles?

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Answer

Yes, they are.

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Question

What is the strange number of an anti-strange quark?

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Answer

+1.

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What is the charge of an antineutron?

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Answer

0.

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Question

What does a baryon number of 0 tell you?

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Answer

It tells you that the particle is made of half matter and half antimatter.

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