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What does the smallest particle in the universe look like?

Many of you may naively believe thatthe smallest particle in the universe is an atom. Well, the atom was indeed considered the smallest and indivisible particle until the discovery of the electron in 1897 by Joseph Thompson; the proton, which was discovered in 1920 by Ernest Rutherford, and in 1932, the neutron, which was first discovered by the English physicist James Chadwick. After almost 100 years, we know that everything in the Universe consists of quarks - mysterious particles that take an active part in gravitational and electromagnetic interactions. So what is a quark and what does it look like?

Quarks - the smallest particle in the universe

What is a quark?

Quark is the smallest particle of the universe. It is quarks that all electrons, neutrons and protons of atoms consist of, each of which was formed 13.7 billion years ago immediately after the Big Bang. A few minutes after the birth of the Universe, our universe could cool so much that the first elementary particles — quarks and electrons — could form. The quarks joined together to form a nucleus of atoms. After about 400,000 years, the Universe was able to cool so much that there was a slowdown in the movement of electrons, allowing atomic nuclei to capture them. It was in this way that all the space visible and invisible to us was able to acquire the first helium and hydrogen atoms, which, by the way, still remain the most common substances in the Universe.

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What do atomic particles look like?

The largest atomic particles are consideredprotons and neutrons, which are somewhat heavier than electrons and are located right in the center of the atom. Electrons form a light cloud that rotates around an atomic nucleus. It is known that the weight of 1800 electrons corresponds to one proton heavyweight. In addition, the addition of at least one proton to the atom leads to the formation of a new substance with properties different from the original, and the addition of an excess neutron creates only an isotope of the substance or simply a heavier version of it.

The nucleus of an atom consists of protons, neutrons and electrons, which, in turn, are composed of quarks

The largest atomic particles are consideredprotons and neutrons, which are somewhat heavier than electrons and are located right in the center of the atom. Electrons form a light cloud that rotates around an atomic nucleus. It is known that the weight of 1800 electrons corresponds to one proton heavyweight. In addition, the addition of at least one proton to the atom leads to the formation of a new substance with properties different from the original, and the addition of an excess neutron creates only an isotope of the substance or simply a heavier version of it.

As mentioned above, absolutely everythingelementary particles are composed of quarks. which are the basis of the universe. Interesting fact: The name “quark” was taken in one of the novels by the famous modernist writer James Joyce in the 20th century, who decided to denote the sound reproduced by ducks with an unusual word.

James Joyce is the author of the term quarks.

Quarks themselves are divided into 6 so-called“Fragrances”, each of which has its own characteristics or “color”. In addition, each of the 6 types of quarks has its own very original name. So, in addition to the lower and upper types of quarks, there are also strange, enchanted, adorable and true quarks.

Of course, “strangeness” or “charm”quarks are very different from our usual concepts. In exactly the same way, the concept of the color of quarks actually means far from their shade, but the way of interaction of quarks and other microparticles - gluons. Well, the imagination of scientists sometimes knows how to surprise.

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In any case, quarks aretruly unique particles, on which in all senses the existence of our Universe in the form in which we know it depends. Perhaps the mystery of the Big Bang and our comprehension of the basic laws of the Universe really depend on one tiny grain of sand, which is thousands and thousands of times smaller than an atom.