A three-way meeting raises the issue of interaction order, as photons compete for channels on a first-come-first-served basis. If a photon head entering a node meets a photon tail leaving it, the tail must start before the head or it would be a head, giving the rule that tails fill channels first. Following this logic, Table 4.3 gives the expected processing result in channel sets as before, except now there are three collision axes not just one. Again, mass is the net processing and charge is the net remainder but now the axis bandwidth is only two-thirds of a channel set. The details are:

1. Up quark. If two extreme photon beams leave a node as another arrives, the tail sets first fill a charge axis with a plus two-thirds charge left over. The remaining tails and the later arriving heads then fill a neutral axis where the remainders cancel. This leaves a free axis with a sixth of a channel set of entangled photons. The result has two-thirds charge and is stable on two axes but has excess photons in the third axis.

2. Down quark. If one beam has passed through a node as the other two arrive, the tails first cancel opposing heads to fill a neutral axis as the remainders cancel. Then the heads and the remaining tails fill a charge axis with a minus third charge left over. This again leaves a third free axis with a sixth of a channel set of entangled photons. The result has a minus third charge and is again stable on two axes with again extra photons in the third axis.

This result is interesting because it gives the correct third charges for quarks, which no other model does. While the standard model *allocates* one-third charges to quarks after the fact, quantum realism *derives* them. It predicts that quarks occupy one node like leptons but only fill two of the three collision axes.

To sum up, the proposed quark structure is:

1. Charge axis. Holds the quark charge, of up quark +⅔ and down quark –⅓.

2. Neutral axis. Heads and tails cancel with no remainder.

3. Free axis. The remaining one sixth channel set of photons is “extra”.

Figure 4.11 summarizes the proposed structure where the axes are at 60° even though the photons meet at 120° because quarks are head-tail mixes, so one beam is always leaving as the others arrive.

That quarks aren’t stable individually fits the fact that they never exist alone. Their symmetric structure might let a group of them maintain an exterior of stable axes but as quarks are stable in a nucleus, they must somehow connect to fill all the channels of a plane, or again the model fails. Physics calls that connection the strong force.