Dictionary: A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z


noun, Physics.
any lepton, hadron, photon, or graviton, the particles once thought to be the indivisible components of all matter or radiation.
any of several entities, such as electrons, neutrons, or protons, that are less complex than atoms and are regarded as the constituents of all matter Also called fundamental particle

elementary particle n.

elementary particle
Any of the smallest, discrete entities of which the universe is composed, including the quarks, leptons, and gauge bosons, which are not themselves made up of other particles. Most types of elementary particles have mass, though at least one, the photon, does not. Also called fundamental particle. See also composite particle, subatomic particle.

Our Living Language : The smallest known units of matter, or elementary particles, are classified under three distinct groups: the quarks, the leptons, and the bosons. The six types or “flavors” of quarks are the up quark, the down quark, the charm quark, the strange quark, the top quark and the bottom quark. All quarks have mass, electric charge, and a special kind of charge called color, and each is associated with a distinct antiparticle, making twelve quarks in all. The leptons include the electron, the muon, the tau particle, the electron neutrino, the muon neutrino, and the tau neutrino. These particles also have distinct antiparticles; the neutrinos are electrically neutral and, if they do have mass, are extremely light. Each of these elementary particles interacts with other elementary particles through one or more forces: the electromagnetic force (between particles with electric charge), the strong force (between particles with color charge, such as the quarks), the weak force (between all leptons and quarks), and the gravitational force (between all particles). These forces are mediated by yet another set of elementary particles, the gauge bosons: when two particles interact, they exchange one or more gauge bosons. The gauge bosons include the W and Z bosons, which mediate the weak nuclear force, the gluon, which mediates the strong nuclear force, and the photon, which mediates the electromagnetic force. The hypothetical graviton, which would mediate the gravitational force, has not been isolated. A sixth boson, the Higgs boson, is believed to interact with the other elementary particles in such a way as to impart mass to them; it too has not been experimentally isolated. Though these particles are believed to be elementary, they can under certain circumstances change into other elementary particles. In beta decay, for example, an up quark turns into a down quark, emitting an electron and an electron antineutrino in the process. All known forms of matter and energy are made of combinations of and interactions between elementary particles; atoms, for example, are made of electrons orbiting a nucleus composed of quarks bound together into larger particles, the protons and neutrons. Whether these particles might themselves be composed of more fundamental building blocks is an open question, and the construction of a “theory of everything” that would explain the properties of all of the known particles and forces remains the ultimate goal for modern physics.


Read Also:

  • Elementary-process

    noun, Physical Chemistry. 1. a chemical process complete in one step, characterized by the simultaneous interaction of all the atoms of two or more molecules.

  • Elementary-school

    noun 1. the lowest school giving formal instruction, teaching the rudiments of learning, and extending usually from six to eight years. noun 1. (Brit) a former name for primary school 2. (US & Canadian) Also called (in the US) grade school, grammar school. a state school in which instruction is given for the first six […]

  • Elements

    [el-uh-muh nt] /ˈɛl ə mənt/ noun 1. a component or constituent of a whole or one of the parts into which a whole may be resolved by analysis: Bricks and mortar are elements of every masonry wall. 2. Chemistry. one of a class of substances that cannot be separated into simpler substances by chemical means. […]

  • Elemi

    [el-uh-mee] /ˈɛl ə mi/ noun, plural elemis. 1. any of various fragrant resins from certain trees, especially Canarium commune, used chiefly in the manufacture of varnishes, lacquers, ointments, and in perfumery. /ˈɛlɪmɪ/ noun (pl) -mis 1. any of various fragrant resins obtained from tropical trees, esp trees of the family Burseraceae: used in making varnishes, […]

Disclaimer: Elementary-particle definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.