What Is Smaller Than an Atom?

Atoms are made up of even smaller particles, such as protons and neutrons, which are formed from even smaller particles known as quarks. Subatomic particles form atoms, which in turn create molecules, the basic building blocks of matter.

Just as atoms can be combined to create different types of matter, subatomic particles are used to create different types of atoms. Protons and neutrons make up the nucleus of atoms, and it is the different combinations and configurations of these subatomic particles that are responsible for providing different types of atoms with various properties. Protons, neutrons and heavier particles, known as hadrons, are created from even smaller subatomic particles, known as quarks.