Atoms Quotes (84 quotes)
What Is an Atom?
If you would like to be involved in its development let us know. Everything in the universe, from stars and planets, to you and the chair that you're sitting on, is made from the same basic building blocks - particles of matter. Some particles were last seen only billionths of a second after the Big Bang. Others form most of the matter around us today. Particle physics studies these very small building block particles and works out how they interact to make the universe look and behave the way it does. Think about the width of a human hair, one of the smallest things we can see — twenty of them placed side by side fit across one millimetre. If we use a microscope to look inside a hair we see cells, which are formed from molecules.
Atoms are the basic building blocks of ordinary matter. Atoms can join together to form molecules, which in turn form most of the objects around you. Atoms are composed of particles called protons , electrons and neutrons. Protons carry a positive electrical charge, electrons carry a negative electrical charge and neutrons carry no electrical charge at all. The protons and neutrons cluster together in the central part of the atom, called the nucleus , and the electrons 'orbit' the nucleus. A particular atom will have the same number of protons and electrons and most atoms have at least as many neutrons as protons. Protons and neutrons are both composed of other particles called quarks and gluons.