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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jan 8;99(1):33-6. Epub 2002 Jan 2.

A closer look at the elementary fermions.

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Physics Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA.


Although there have been many experimental and theoretical efforts to measure and interpret small deviations from the standard model of particle physics, the gap that the model leaves in understanding why there are only three generations of the elementary fermions, with hierarchical masses, has not received the attention it deserves. I present here an attempt to fill this gap. Although our findings are mostly only qualitative, they nevertheless may be of heuristic value. Rules concerning the elementary fermions, some previously known and some new, lead to a number of conclusions and questions that seem worth pursuing. Some clarify the standard model, and others suggest possible modifications, the implications of which are discussed.

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