Entries - Q


Any of a number of subatomic particles carrying a fractional electric charge, postulated as building blocks of the hadrons. Quarks have not been directly observed but theoretical predictions based on their existence have been confirmed experimentally.

Quarks have the different states up, down, top, bottom, charm and strange.  Use a space after the state:

Of all the quarks I have studied, I find the up quark the most intriguing.

Unless they are used as compound adjectives:


quark-gluon plasma

Lower case, note the position of the single hyphen.

punctuation, style


A quench is an abnormal termination of magnet operation that happens when part of the superconducting coil goes back to its normal (resistive) state. This can happen if the field inside the magnet is too large, the rate of change of field is too large (causing eddy currents and heating in the copper support matrix), or a combination of the two. More rarely a defect in the magnet can cause a quench. 


quotation marks

Use double quotes in text, captions, etc. Single quotes for headlines, and quotes within quotes. See quotes.

Do not use quotation marks to soften headlines. 

Higgs boson "found" does not mean anything. The quote marks render the headline ambiguous and confuse the reader. Has it been found or not?

CERN physicists spot tantalizing hints of Higgs boson is more elegant and gives more information, without the need for quotes. 

punctuation, style


Readers are entitled to believe that anything appearing within direct quotes are the actual words used by the speaker.

  • Remove ums and aahs and correct for grammar 
  • If you are unsure of the exact wording use reported speech 
  • Open quotes with a colon, and close them after the punctuation mark
  • Use says, not said (though said is permissibile for famous historical examples)

"I really enjoyed the part about the accelerators," says Joe Bloggs. "It got me interested in physics again."

punctuation, style

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