Review of Particle Physics


The Particle Data Group (PDG) is an international collaboration that provides a comprehensive summary of particle physics and related areas of cosmology: the Review of Particle Physics. More information about the Review of Particle Physics:


The current form of the Particle properties tables stems directly from a 1957 article in the Annual review of nuclear science, by Gell-Mann and Rosenfeld.

Data on particles were becoming available at an increasing rate, and even before the Annual Review volume was published, Walter H. Barkas and A. H. Rosenfeld decided to make the first update of the table of masses and mean lives. It appeared as Lawrence Radiation Laboratory Report UCRL-8030 (unpublished). Thus 1957 saw the first edition of UCRL-8030: Data for elementary-particle physics.

The first revision of UCRL-8030 was made in 1958, accompanied by a 'wallet card'.

In 1963, Matts Roos's Tables of elementary particles and resonant states illustrated that it was no longer possible for a single person to compile data critically. Thus, as he saw the Rosenfeld et al.'s computerized draft of the 1964 edition, he suggested combining efforts.

The first published edition of Data on elementary particles and resonant states, was written by five Berkeley authors (A. H. Rosenfeld, A. Barbaro-Galtieri, W. H. Barkas, P. L. Bastien, J. Kirz) and Matts Roos from Copenhagen. There were only 27 pages but the Table of stable particles was complete!

The 1965 edition was the last carrying the name of Walter Barkas, who left Berkeley to head the high-energy group at the University of California.

Eight authors, coming from LRL, CERN and Yale, compiled the 1967 edition.

In 1968, on the tenth birtday of the group, the first data booklet was printed, the name of the review changed to Review of particle properties (and then again in 1996 to Review of particle physics) and the group took the name Particle Data Group. The review's pages has increased rapidly, when there were only a few pages at the beginning, the 2004 edition has 1100 pages.

Further reading: The Particle Data Group : growth and operations - eighteen years of particle physics

Last edition

This biennial Review summarizes much of particle physics. Using data from previous editions, plus 2778 new measurements from 645 papers, we list, evaluate, and average measured properties of gauge bosons, leptons, quarks, mesons, and baryons. We also summarize searches for hypothetical particles such as Higgs bosons, heavy neutrinos, and supersymmetric particles. All the particle properties and search limits are listed in Summary Tables. We also give numerous tables, figures, formulae, and reviews of topics such as the Standard Model, particle detectors, probability, and statistics. Among the 108 reviews are many that are new or heavily revised including those on CKM quark-mixing matrix, Vud & Vus, Vcb & Vub, top quark, muon anomalous magnetic moment, extra dimensions, particle detectors, cosmic background radiation, dark matter, cosmological parameters, and big bang cosmology.

A booklet is available containing the Summary Tables and abbreviated versions of some of the other sections of this full Review. All tables, listings, and reviews (and errata) are also available on the Particle Data Group website:

Complete collection

Hard copy available in the CERN Library Reference Collection:

Last modified
3 December, 2020