A New Map of All the Particles and Forces

Natalie Wolchover:

All of nature springs from a handful of components — the fundamental particles — that interact with one another in only a few different ways. In the 1970s, physicists developed a set of equations describing these particles and interactions. Together, the equations formed a succinct theory now known as the Standard Model of particle physics.

The Standard Model is missing a few puzzle pieces (conspicuously absent are the putative particles that make up dark matter, those that convey the force of gravity, and an explanation for the mass of neutrinos), but it provides an extremely accurate picture of almost all other observed phenomena.