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written by the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
This resource is a learning cycle for high school physics, developed by Fermilab to support the teaching of fundamental particles and interactions. It features scaffolded activities on fundamental units, the Standard Model, quark and lepton properties, elementary particle reactions, and more. It could serve as an introduction to special relativity, as students build a foundation to understand mass-energy equivalence.  

Fermilab is a national science laboratory whose primary focus of research is high energy physics. It is the home of the Tevatron, the world's second-largest particle accelerator.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Inquiry Learning
Modern Physics
- Elementary Particles
- Nuclear Physics
= Particle Detectors
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Curriculum
= Instructor Guide/Manual
= Unit of Instruction
- Assessment Material
= Test
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Educators
- Learners
- Administrators
- application/pdf
- text/html
- video/realvideo
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Free access
Does not have a copyright, license, or other use restriction.
baryon, boson, bubble chamber, meson, particles, relativity, strong force, weak force, special relativity
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created September 13, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
September 24, 2012 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
May 31, 2010
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

1. The Nature of Science

1A. The Scientific Worldview
  • 9-12: 1A/H1. Science is based on the assumption that the universe is a vast single system in which the basic rules are everywhere the same and that the things and events in the universe occur in consistent patterns that are comprehensible through careful, systematic study.

4. The Physical Setting

4D. The Structure of Matter
  • 9-12: 4D/H5. Scientists continue to investigate atoms and have discovered even smaller constituents of which neutrons and protons are made.
4G. Forces of Nature
  • 9-12: 4G/H6. The nuclear forces that hold the protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom together are much stronger than the electric forces between the protons and electrons of the atom. That is why much greater amounts of energy are released from nuclear reactions than from chemical reactions.

10. Historical Perspectives

10C. Relating Matter & Energy and Time & Space
  • 9-12: 10C/H3. The special theory of relativity is best known for stating that any form of energy has mass, and that matter itself is a form of energy. Even a tiny amount of matter holds an enormous amount of energy. This relationship is described in the famous relativity equation E = mc2, in which the c in the equation stands for the immense speed of light.
  • 9-12: 10C/H5. Einstein's development of the theories of special and general relativity ranks as one of the greatest human accomplishments in all of history. Many predictions from the theories have been confirmed on both atomic and astronomical scales. Still, the search continues for an even more powerful theory of the architecture of the universe.
  • 9-12: 10C/H6. Under everyday situations, most of the predictions of special relativity are nearly identical to those of classical mechanics. The more counterintuitive predictions of special relativity occur in situations that humans do not typically experience.
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Record Link
AIP Format
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, (2007), WWW Document, (
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Fermilab: Topics in Modern Physics, (2007), <>.
APA Format
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. (2010, May 31). Fermilab: Topics in Modern Physics. Retrieved November 16, 2018, from
Chicago Format
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Fermilab: Topics in Modern Physics. May 31, 2010. (accessed 16 November 2018).
MLA Format
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Fermilab: Topics in Modern Physics. 2007. 31 May 2010. 16 Nov. 2018 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory", Title = {Fermilab: Topics in Modern Physics}, Volume = {2018}, Number = {16 November 2018}, Month = {May 31, 2010}, Year = {2007} }
Refer Export Format

%Q Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
%T Fermilab: Topics in Modern Physics
%D May 31, 2010
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory,
%D May 31, 2010
%T Fermilab: Topics in Modern Physics
%V 2018
%N 16 November 2018
%8 May 31, 2010
%9 application/pdf

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