An Interactive Primer To Particle Physics

Fermilab and SLAC team up for the ABCs of Particle Physics, a charming guide perfect for kids and adults alike.

Especially for those of us who snoozed through 11th-grade physics class, understanding particle physics can be challenging, to say the least. But Symmetry Magazine–a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication covering advanced physics–has us dummies covered. They’ve just launched the Snow Fall of button cute physics primers: the interactive ABCs of Particle Physics.

“We know particle physics can seem daunting at times, but everything’s more fun to learn when it rhymes. So we’re breaking it down, letter by letter, with hopes that you’ll understand physics much better,” writes Fermilab’s Lauren Biron. With the help of Chris Smith, an illustrator at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, the pair explain particles like the cryostat, Higgs boson, joules, quarks, and more in a way that kindergarteners (or the aforementioned physics class snoozers) can understand.

See the full alphabet hereSymmetry Magazine/US Department of Energy/Fermilab/SLAC

On the web, the ABCs of Particle Physics animates as you scroll, bringing Smith’s adorably anthropomorphic particles and physic concepts to life as you move down the page. It’s also available as a non-animated website, and even as a downloadable PDF, so you can lull the future particle physicist in your life to sleep by reading it at bedtime. Check it out here.

About the author

John Brownlee is a design writer who lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. You can email him at



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