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Smallest stable particle?

  1. Jun 4, 2010 #1
    Is an electron the smallest stable subatomic particle? By stable I mean it can exist independently of other particles.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2010 #2


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    What do you mean by "smallest"? Lightest?
  4. Jun 5, 2010 #3
    maybe photon or electron .
  5. Jun 5, 2010 #4
    Take your pick from here:

    The question is very vague for because for example the electron will immediately combine with a positively charged particle...is that "stable" enough for you?? does an electron in an atom meet your criteria?....in addition, the typical electron is a "cloud" rather than a point particle as often modeled.
  6. Jun 5, 2010 #5
    I would say some neutrino is the "smallest" in the sense that it has a small mass and doesn't interact much with anything.
  7. Jun 5, 2010 #6


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    The same could be said about any other particle, but I agree, the question isn't really precise enough to answer unambiguously.
  8. Jun 6, 2010 #7
    By "smallest" I mean non-zero rest mass. By "stable" I mean it can exist independently of other subatomic particles for an extended period of time.
  9. Jun 7, 2010 #8


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  10. Jun 7, 2010 #9
    Thanks phyzguy!
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