The smallest parts of an atom are fermions, the elementary particles that form the subatomic components in every atom. Atoms, the smallest particle of an element that still retains the properties of the element, are composed of protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons and neutrons can be broken down further into quarks, one type of fermion. Electrons are a class of leptons, the other type of fermion.Continue Reading
Fermions are the building blocks of matter and energy in the universe, and are thought to be the smallest particles that exist. Fermions make up most of what is observed in the universe.
Fermions are divided into two classes: quarks and leptons. There are six types of quarks: up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom. Protons and neutrons are made up of three quarks each. A proton has two up quarks and one down quark, while a neutron has two down quarks and one up quark. Quarks have a fractional electrical charge, but when they combine into hadrons such as protons and neutrons they do so in a formation that results in a net integer electrical charge.
Leptons also have six types, one of which is the electron. Unlike quarks, which always are found in groups, the leptons are solitary particles.Learn more about Atoms & Molecules
Although each atom is made up of different-sized particles, the majority of the space, or volume, of each atom consists of its electron cloud. However, among the three molecules present, the neutrons are the largest and the atom's nucleus makes up 99.9 percent of its total mass.Full Answer >
Neutrons are the particles in an atom that have a neutral charge. Protons and electrons are other particles found in an atom. Protons have a positive charge and neutrons have a negative one.Full Answer >
The net electric charge of the nucleus of an atom is positive due to the presence of charge-carrying particles known as protons. The outer shell of the atom is negatively charged as a result of carrying electrons in a diffuse cloud. Atoms always have a net neutral electric charge.Full Answer >
The three major subatomic particles of an atom are electrons, neutrons and protons, according to Science Daily. Protons and neutrons are made of smaller particles known as quarks. Photons, positrons and neutrinos are made after nuclear fusion occurs in stars.Full Answer >