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In Search of the Ultimate Building Blocks by Gerard 't Hooft

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7 The crazy kaons

It is not my intention to annoy you, my dear reader, with extensive discussions of each particle type separately, but the kaons are an exception. Some decades ago, one could buy in every toy shop a material called ‘silly putty’. It was a miraculous substance. You could mold it like clay and roll it into a ball. But then when you threw the ball it would bounce quite elastically, not at all the reaction you would expect of a ball of clay. If you left your ball alone for a while, it would very slowly lose its shape altogether, turning into something that would look more like a puddle of water than clay, let alone a bouncing ball. Yet it still felt like and could be molded like clay. For a physicist such substances are interesting. ...

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