Q&A: Are we on the brink of a new age of scientific discovery?

In 2001 at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, a facility used for research in nuclear and high-energy physics, scientists experimenting with a subatomic particle called a muon encountered something unexpected.

Jupiter could make an ideal dark matter detector

So you want to find dark matter, but you don't know where to look. A giant planet might be exactly the kind of particle detector you need! Luckily, our solar system just happens to have a couple of them available, and the ...

Learning what makes the nucleus tick

Michigan State University's Witold Nazarewicz has a simple way to describe the complex work he does at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB.

Searching for hints of new physics in the subatomic world

Peer deeper into the heart of the atom than any microscope allows and scientists hypothesize that you will find a rich world of particles popping in and out of the vacuum, decaying into other particles, and adding to the ...

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Subatomic particle

In physics, subatomic particles are the particles composing nucleons and atoms. There are two types of subatomic particles: elementary particles, which are not made of other particles, and composite particles. Particle physics and nuclear physics study these particles and how they interact.

Elementary particles of the Standard Model include:

Composite subatomic particles (such as protons or atomic nuclei) are bound states of two or more elementary particles. For example, a proton is made of two up quarks and one down quark, while the atomic nuclei of helium-4 is composed of two protons and two neutrons. Composite particles include all hadrons. These, in turn, are composed of baryons (e.g., protons and neutrons) and mesons (e.g., pions and kaons).

There are hundreds of known subatomic particles. Most are either the result of cosmic rays interacting with matter, or have been produced by scattering processes in particle accelerators.[citation needed]

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