back button
forward button
home button
glossary button

Testing a theory

We have discussed various aspects of the Standard Model and have delved deep into the world of tiny, invisible subatomic particles with strange names. All of this scientific theory may start to look like magic, but it's important to realize that physicists do not just sit around and make up this stuff. They test their hypotheses, and create new theories from the results of their experiments.

To test theories, physicists put together experiments and use what they already know to find out what they do not know. These experiments may be simple, or they may be huge and complicated.

The Standard Model rises out of thousands of years of scientific inquiry, but most of the experiments that have given rise to our current conception of particle physics have occurred relatively recently. The story of how physicists experiment to test and create theories in modern particle physics is one which starts less than a hundred years ago...