What is Subatomic particle: Definition and 24 Discussions

In physical sciences, subatomic particles are smaller than atoms. They can be composite particles, such as the neutron and proton; or elementary particles, which according to the standard model are not made of other particles. Particle physics and nuclear physics study these particles and how they interact.
The concept of a subatomic particle was refined when experiments showed that light could behave like a stream of particles (called photons) as well as exhibiting wave-like properties. This led to the concept of wave–particle duality to reflect that quantum-scale particles behave like both particles and waves (they are sometimes described as wavicles to reflect this). Another concept, the uncertainty principle, states that some of their properties taken together, such as their simultaneous position and momentum, cannot be measured exactly. The wave–particle duality has been shown to apply not only to photons but to more massive particles as well.Interactions of particles in the framework of quantum field theory are understood as creation and annihilation of quanta of corresponding fundamental interactions. This blends particle physics with field theory.
Even among particle physicists, the exact definition of a particle has diverse descriptions. These professional attempts at the definition of a particle include:

A particle is a collapsed wave function
A particle is a quantum excitation of a field
A particle is an irreducible representation of the Poincaré group
A particle might be a vibrating string
A particle is a thing we measure in a detector

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. edusmartin

    B Cloud Chambers - I to know what particle this is

    Hi, my son is fan of the Quantum Physics and we developed a cloud chamber. I'm attaching an image of particle sequence and I will like to find some help to know witch particle is. I will appreciate any help on it. Thanks
  2. Quantum Alchemy

    I Questions about QFT and the reality of subatomic particles

    I've been reading about Quantum Field Theory and what it says about subatomic particles. I've read that QFT regards particles as excited states of underlying quantum fields. If this is the case, how can particles be regarded as objective? It seems to me that this also removes some of the...
  3. F

    How do we know the mass of an electron?

    I've been researching the proof of subatomic particles given the fact that we have never seen them before. It has always been recognized that protons, electrons, and neutrons exist; but I question how we know for certain they exist. Across my studying I've realized that in 1897, J. J. Thompson...
  4. D

    I Realistic Time Dilation for Objects > Subatomic Particles

    Time travel, or more precisely time dilation, has been a well known proven result of Relativity. It has been demonstrated most notably in satellites traveling thousands of mph around the world with GPS. You can only go forward with our current understanding of physics. Have there been any...
  5. S

    Why is there no maximum temperature?

    Given that absolute zero is the lowest temperature possible, were all particles have zero vibration. And given that the speed of light is the highest speed any object, particle, sub atomic or not can travel. Using 2 of the most fundamental laws of physics thermodynamics and general relativity...
  6. P

    Stargazing What is the best Dobsonian telescope with a goto feature?

    My interests include; Large telescopes & Astrophotography Sub-atomic particles The Copenhagen Interpretation Black Holes Bubble universes and the Multiverse Many Worlds Theory The Holographic Proposal Quantum entanglement Causality, determinism and free will
  7. S

    B Understanding Energy and Charge: Exploring the Basics

    I have a simple two-part question, or two simple questions. 1. What is energy? 2. What is charge? The charge I'm referring to is the charge on charged subatomic particles. And atom's charge is defined by the number of electrons and protons present in it. But an electron itself is called a...
  8. Kenneth Boon Faker

    A question about wave/particle duality

    Subatomic particles can take the form of a wave or a particle. While in wave form, it is not like a physical wave, but rather a probability wave, (i.e. a wave of information about where the particle is probably located etc.) And while in particle form, a photon, for example, can knock electrons...
  9. Kenneth Boon Faker

    B The Nature of Reality: Understanding the Behavior of Subatomic Particles

    A subatomic particle can either be a wave or a particle. When it is a particle, what actually is it? is it literally like a tiny physical ball rattling around? (If not, then what is it?) And when it is a wave, what is it? From my understanding, when a particle behaves like a wave, the...
  10. Kenneth Boon Faker

    B What does the 'space' inside an atom consist of?

    Atoms make up all the material stuff around us, but most of an atom is empty space. The nucleus at the centre of an atom (99.95 percent of its mass) is orbited by tiny electrons (only 0.05 percent or less of the overall atomic mass). And as you've probably heard, an analogy is to think of the...
  11. Swetha.M.L

    Motion of Electron: Background Force & Other Particles

    what is the background force for the motion of electron? is any other sub atomic particle can move? if no why?
  12. Shreyas Shree

    Are all particles subject to gravity?

    Theoretically are all particles subject to gravity. Or is there any particle which need not be affected by gravity.
  13. C

    Orthohydrogen to Parahydrogen: What particle?

    What subatomic particle is emitted when a diatomic Hydrogen molecule transitions from Orthohydrogen to Parahydrogen? e.g. during cooling And why can you cool a sample of Hydrogen to assure that all H2 molecules are para-, but you cannot heat to have any more than 3:1 ortho-:para- ?
  14. D

    Possibility of another subatomic particle.

    is the exsistance of a new subatomic particle (i.e. electron, proton, neutron) possible is said particle is able to carry a positive and a negative electrical field? (+-)==<|> == say if the particle emits energy that can push and "pull" in all directions can it in theory stop energy and other...
  15. B

    Subatomic Particle Masses: Identical or Varied?

    Is there any reason why the masses / sizes of all subatomic particles -- for instance, protons -- must necessarily be identical to each other? In other words, could individual protons or neutrons vary in their masses or sizes beyond our current ability to detect?
  16. R

    Subatomic particle and space curvature

    Can we say that each subatomic particle affects space time such that collectively as big as a planet it explains why there is gravity? Thank you very much.
  17. R

    Why Do Hadrons Weigh More Than the Sum of Their Quarks?

    why is it that a composite particle such as a hadron have a mass which is more than the combined rest mass of it's components? For example the proton has mass 938.27... MeV/c^2 whereas the quarks have masses only totalling approximately 8-12MeV/c^2? I assume there is a formula used to...
  18. T

    Density of a subatomic particle

    Can this be measured? ie - "What's the density of a proton?" If so, what exactly are we measuring? If not, at what point does density as a concept break down? Apologies if this needed to be under the "Classical" forum.
  19. L

    Finding the frequency of a subatomic particle in motion?

    If a subatomic particle is moving with an energy equal to 240. mev, what is the frequency associated with this particle ? E=hv where E = energy of the particle, h = Planck's constant and v = frequency I thought I would solve this by first converting MeV into joules, and then using the...
  20. T

    Comprehensive List of Subatomic Particle Decay Modes and Probabilities

    Hello I'm looking for a list,as complete as possible, of decay modes and their probabilities, for all known subatomic particles. I've been googling, but found only bits and pieces. Perhaps someone knows a place on internet, or has found a free document to share, or anything like that thanks
  21. F

    Subatomic Particle Problem

    Homework Statement a subatomic particle called lambda zero decas spontaneously at rest into 2 other particles. Their masses are m(lambda zero) = 2183.3 me, m(1) = 273.2 me, m(2) = 1836.2 me, where me = 9.11E-31. a) How muchkinetic energy in this process by loss of mass? b) What is the...
  22. S

    3D Subatomic Particle and Molecule Creator

    I made this subatomic particle simulator, but I haven't accurately placed the atoms in each molecule yet, you may be interested...enjoy! http://www.winggamepak.com/stuff/atombuilder.exe Here's a picture of it: http://www.winggamepak.com/stuff/atombuilder.jpg plus there are other...
  23. J

    Elementary Question: Subatomic Particle

    Need some pointers handling this question: "Invent a subatomic particle and describe its likely properties. Where in the atom would you expect your particle to exist, would it be stable, what is its mass, what is its charge, etc.? Present your findings to the class via whatever media you wish."