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What are we looking for?

Physicists constantly look for new particles. When they find them, they categorize them and try to find patterns that tell us about how the fundamental building blocks of the universe interact.

We have now discovered about two hundred particles (most of which aren't fundamental). To keep track of all of these particles, they are named with letters from the Greek and Roman alphabets.

Of course, the names of particles are but a small part of any physical theory. You should not be discouraged if you have trouble remembering them. Take heart: even the great Enrico Fermi once said to his student (and future Nobel Laureate) Leon Lederman, "Young man, if I could remember the names of these particles, I would have been a botanist!"