The profile of Atoms and other fundamental particles

by Carson
three dimensional representation of molecular structure

Atoms are the building blocks of the Universe. They make up all the stuff in the Universe with other fundamental particles. They make up elements and they are arranged in the periodic table by their characteristics.

The Structure of Atoms

Atoms are made of protons and neutrons in their nuclei, and they consist of most of the atom’s mass but they only take up a little of its space. The rest of them are electrons. They flow around the nucleus but don’t orbit it. Protons have positive charges while electrons have negative ones. The number of protons indicates the number of electrons and they are neutral. But sometimes they don’t, that makes them ions.

Although neutrons and protons are small, they are not fundamental. Quarks that make them up are. Neutrons are made of 2 down quarks and 1 up quark, and protons are made of 1 down quark and 2 up quarks. Up quarks have two thirds an electron’s positive charge and down quarks have a third an electron’s negative charge.

Fundamental Particles

There are 17 fundamental particles. Although atoms are very common, they use up only 3 of them. Here is the list:
Quarks: Up, Down, Top, Charm, Strange, Bottom (Quark)
Bosons: Photon, W Boson, Z Boson, Gluon, Higgs Boson
Leptons: Electron, Muon, Tau, Electron Neutrino, Muon Neutrino, Tau Neutrino (Neutrino means no charge)


Bosons are energy carriers. When one of the four fundamental forces in the Universe has effects, they are created. Photons are responsible for electromagnetism, W and Z Bosons are responsible for weak interaction, Gluons are responsible for strong interactions and the hypothetical graviton is responsible for gravity.

We see things because of photons, right? Photons are produced when an electron jumps to a higher energy state when it is filled with energy, and drops to a lower energy state and loses energy when producing photons. Photons travel at the speed of light without acceleration because massless particles always do that. That’s why light is a type of energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation.

Gluons stick quarks together, forming hadrons such as protons and neutrons. And remember, they make up atoms. So gluons and photons are important for what we see.

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