Solving for nuclear structure in light nuclei

In nuclei, all the fundamental forces of nature are at play. The dense region at the center of an atom—where the protons and neutrons are found—is a place where scientists can test their understanding of the fundamental ...

Explaining gravity without string theory

For decades, most physicists have agreed that string theory is the missing link between Einstein's theory of general relativity, describing the laws of nature at the largest scale, and quantum mechanics, describing them at ...

A binary star as a cosmic particle accelerator

With a specialized telescope in Namibia a DESY-led team of researchers has proven a certain type of binary star as a new kind of source for very high-energy cosmic gamma-radiation. Eta Carinae is located 7500 lightyears away ...

Cracking open the proton

Physicists around the world are cracking open the proton, within the nucleus of the atom, to see what's inside.

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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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