Topological preon models: a braid new world

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Preon models enjoyed considerable popularity during the early 1980s, but have seen little progress since then. I will describe a correspondence between one of the more successful preon models and a simple game involving the twisting and braiding of ribbons, subject to straightforward topological conditions. This reproduces the fermions and gauge bosons of the standard model, as well as the electromagnetic, weak and colour interactions. The prospect that such structures may occur naturally within Loop Quantum Gravity will be discussed