Tom Lehrer’s Elements Song is 150 years out of date – the science and the music (The Major General’s Song from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance) are both from late 1800s.
So it’s time for an update, to the tune of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. Video coming soon… email me if you want to hear it live!
SMELLS LIKE STANDARD MODEL
A memory for elements, I’ll leave that for the elephants
A 4×4 explains it all, matter, forces, light as well.
hydrogen , helium, lithium, they’re all done
Atom, proton, neutron they’re all gone.
Hello boson, hello lepton, Hello quarks in 3 rows-
Drop the table, Mr Lehrer, Standard model it’s much clearer
The colliders smash up atoms, matter’s only quarks and leptons,
like neutrinoes yeah neutrinoes ….
Quarks in threes are nucleons, But you can’t get a quark alone
The quarks in me are downs and ups, electrons, small, can’t break em up,
Quark charge, one third and sometimes two
Baryon three quarks, meson only two
Electrons’re leptons, neutrinos too, and there are two more rows-
There’s an up quark and a down one,
strange and charm quarks, Top and butt quarks.
Tau & muons are fat electrons, and neutrinos come in three rows
Yeah neutrinos, mu neutrinos, tau neutrinos,
Antimatter, it’s no sin, just flip the charge and quantum spin
A photon’s light, waves of course, & carries electromagnetic force
Magnetic fields’re no magic trick, it’s just a boson swapping quick.
They’re virtual, too short to see. They bind the quarks in me-
Interactions, they’re all bosons, ‘lectromagnets are just photons,
there’s a strong one, it’s a gluon, weak force W and Z bosons.
In Geneva, found a big one, It’s not special, God’s no boson
Higgs boson, a higgs boson, a higgs boson …