Elementary particles

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Particles > Structure, properties and function of elements (periodic table) > Elementary particles

A elementary particle is a particle that is not composed of other particles. The known elementary particles are divided into fermions and bosons. The fermions include the quarks and leptons which both form all the matter that we observe in the universe. The quarks are combined to make hadrons like protons and neutrons that in turn make all the atomic nuclei. The best known lepton is the electron. The bosons are known as "force" particles that mediate interactions among the particles. Every one of these particles has a mirror anti-particle.

Connection to Big Idea about the universe: Elementary particles were born fractions of a second after the Big Bang. Then, they combined to form nuclei, atoms and molecules (matter and antimatter). Elementary particles can transform to each other through the action of the weak force.

Connection to Big Idea about the cell: The electron transport in the energy cycle of the cell deposits energy in the reduced coenzymes which transfer that energy through what is called the electron transport chain.

Connection to Big Idea about Earth: Everything on Earth is made up of elementary particles once created in the Big Bang.

Subjects related: Chemistry, Physics

Age ranges: 12-13,13-14,14-15,15-16,16-17,17-18



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