List of Topics

SfC Home > Physics > Matter >

 

Subatomic Particles

by Ron Kurtus (revised 13 March 2016)

An atom is made up of subatomic particles: protons, neutrons, and electrons.

Protons and neutrons gather in an area at the center of the atom called the nucleus. Electrons are placed in shells around the nucleus.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions. Useful tool: Units Conversion



Protons

A proton has a positive (+1) electric charge.  It consists of two up quarks and one down quark, fundamental particles.

(See Fundamental Particles of Matter for more information.)

The mass of a proton is 1.673*10−27 kg. Its relative mass is 1.007 amu.

The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom determines the atomic number of the element.

Neutrons

Neutrons have no electric charge. Every element except Hydrogen has at least one neutron in its nucleus. Other atoms have the same number or more neutrons as protons in the nucleus. Neutrons act as a form of binding force within the nucleus.

The mass of a neutron is 1.675*10−27 kg. Its relative mass is 1.009 amu, slightly more than that of a proton.

The neutron is made up of one up quark and two down quarks

(See Neutrons for more information.)

Electrons

Electrons are considered fundamental or elementary particles. They are classified as leptons.

(See Fundamental Particles of Matter for more information.)

The mass of the electron is 9.109*10−27 kg. Its relative mass is 5.489*10−4 amu

Electrons have a negative (−1) electric charge. In a stable atom (not an ion) the number of electrons equals the number of protons in the nucleus.

Electrons are set in "orbits" or shells around the nucleus. Another view is that they form a cloud around the nucleus.

Summary

An atom is made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons, which are considered subatomic particles.

Protons and neutrons gather in an area at the center of the atom, called the nucleus. Protons have positive (+1) electric charge, while neutrons are neutral. Electrons are placed in shells around the nucleus. They have a negative (−1) electric charge.

The number of electrons is usually the same as the number of protons in the atom.


Know your purpose in life and follow it


Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

Websites

Proton - Wikipedia

Neutron - Wikipedia

Electron - Wikipedia

Physics Resources

Books

Top-rated books on Atomic Theory


Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


Share

Click on a button to bookmark or share this page through Twitter, Facebook, email, or other services:

 

Students and researchers

The Web address of this page is:
www.school-for-champions.com/science/
subatomic.htm

Please include it as a link on your website or as a reference in your report, document, or thesis.

Copyright © Restrictions


Where are you now?

School for Champions

Physics topics

Subatomic Particles




Matter topics

Basics

Particles of Matter

Density

States of Matter

Fluids



Let's make the world a better place

Be the best that you can be.

Use your knowledge and skills to help others succeed.

Don't be wasteful; protect our environment.

You CAN influence the world.





Live Your Life as a Champion:

Take care of your health

Seek knowledge and gain skills

Do excellent work

Be valuable to others

Have utmost character

Be a Champion!



The School for Champions helps you become the type of person who can be called a Champion.