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A term used to describe a class of elementary particles. Ordinary atoms of matter consist of a nucleus composed of neutrons and protons and surrounded by electrons. Over the years, however, a host of other particles with unexpected properties have been found, associated with both electrons (leptons) and protons (hadrons). The hadrons number in the hundreds, and can be explained as composites of more fundamental constituents, called quarks. The originally simple situation of having an up quark (u) and a down quark (d) has evolved as several more varieties or flavors have had to be added. These are the strange quark (s) with the additional property or quantum number of strangeness to account for the unexpected characteristics of a family of strange particles; the charm quark (c) possessing charm and no strangeness, to explain the discovery of the J/ψ particles, massive states three times heavier than the proton; and a fifth quark (b) to explain the existence of the even more massive upsilon (γ) particles. See Hadron, Quarks
The members of the family of particles associated with charm fall into two classes: those with hidden charm, where the states are a combination of charm and anticharm quarks (cc), charmonium; and those where the charm property is clearly evident, such as the D+ (cd) meson and &Lgr;c+ (cud) baryon. Although reasonable progress has been made in the study of charmed states, much work remains to be done. See Elementary particle
Charm(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
A talisman or an amulet may be referred to as a charm, as may a Christian rosary or agnes dei. A three-leaf clover is regarded as a lucky charm, as is a rabbit's foot. Charms are objects, but they are also words used in spells, chants and incantations.
In the past, and even today, people will repeat a word, phrase, or verse that they have been told will work as a charm for health, wealth, protection, love or power. They might be spoken in English, Latin or some form of pseudo-magical gibberish, either meaningless or whose meaning has long since been lost.
The Church has had an ambivalent attitude toward charms. In medieval times holy relics and rosaries were blessed and encouraged. Prayers were also recommended. Yet in the seventeenth century, in Scotland, the use of a charm could lead to burning at the stake. Many charms invoked the names of saints, yet the Church warned that only prayers in their standard Catholic form were permissible.
In South America, no one can claim to be a shaman unless they have knowledge of a great many charms. All magical rites are assigned charms which are believed to have great power. The shamans use charms to combat disease, overcome evil, destroy enemies and summon spirits. Although ordinary people may also know charms, those of the shamans are thought to be especially effective.
Similarly, many believe that the charms of Witches are far more effective than any traditional, well-known charms. For example, there are probably hundreds of charms for getting rid of warts. Many of them seem to work. Yet people will place more faith in a charm spoken by a Witch than the very same charm spoken by themselves.
an incantation, in the creative oral tradition of various peoples, a formula of words that, according to superstition, has magical power. In ancient times charms were associated with magical occurrences; later the incantations themselves acquired magical significance. Hunters, fishermen, shepherds, farmers, and tradesmen had their own charms. There were also charms that placed spells on iniquitous judges. Many charms are used as protection from illness. There are numerous love charms that are believed to make people fall in and out of love. Charms reflect various aspects of the economic, social, and spiritual life of the peoples of the world. The artistic poetic quality and rich language of charms establish them as a form of verbal folk art.
REFERENCESMaikov, L. Velikorusskie zaklinaniia. St. Petersburg, 1869.
Eleonskaia, E. K izucheniiu zagovora i koldovstvci v Rossii. [Moscow] 1917.
Poznanskii, N. Zagovory. Petrograd, 1917.
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["The CHARM(3.2) Programming Language Manual", UIUC, Dec 1992].