The word “quark” originally appeared in a single line of the the novel Finnegans Wake written by the Irish author James Joyce (1882–1941). The protagonist of the book is a publican named Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker who dreams that he is serving beer to a drunken seagull (no joke). Instead of asking for “three quarts for Mister Mark” the inebriated bird says “three quarks for Muster Mark”. Since the pre-standard model theory was complete with only three quarks, the name made some sense. The full standard model today needs six quarks. That hasn’t made the word any less fun to say. Quark!

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