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What is smaller than an Atom?

Subatomic particles are known to be smaller than an atom. In early days, it was believed that it is atom which is the smallest element. But, modern research on atom proved it wrong. Atom is not the smallest, infact it consist of subatomic particles. These subatomic particles are believed to be the smallar than an atom.

What are Subatomic Particles?

Until the eighteenth century, it was assumed that any atom in a periodic table is the smallest unit of matter and trillions of atoms combined to create a substance. However, during the initial years of the nineteenth century, scientists found that even an atom is made up of some particles, which they referred to as subatomic particles.

Subatomic Particles are the elementary particles of energy or matter which act as the fundamental constituents of all types of matter. Up Till now, more than 200 subatomic particles have been discovered however most of them are not so stable and can exist only for an interval equal to a millionth of a second.

The concept and better understanding of subatomic particles enable scientists to understand the chemical and physical behaviours of all types of energy and matter. Moreover, the same concept helped us a lot to predict the origin of this world.

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Subatomic Particles Examples

The most common examples of subatomic particles are protons, neutrons, and electrons. What are these subatomic particles and what charge do they carry? We have discussed each and everything in the next section of the article.

Besides these basic subatomic particles, there are also some uncommon subatomic particles like anti up quark, neutrino, anti down quark, up quark, down quark, positron, antineutrino, etc.

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Properties of Subatomic Particles and their Charges

As stated before, there are more than 200 subatomic particles that exist in nature. However, the most fundamental subatomic particles are electrons, protons, and neutrons. Electrons revolve in shells and contribute almost nothing to the total mass of an atom.

The protons from the heaviest and bulkiest part of the atom and present at the centermost point - the nucleus, around which the electrons revolve. Since the protons have positive charges and the electrons have negative charges, the attractive forces between these opposite charges determine the chemical reactivity and physical properties of an atom in a chemical reaction.

In addition to protons and electrons, atoms also contain another sort of subatomic particle having no charge at all. These subatomic particles are called neutrons and they also contribute to the total mass of an atom as prominently as protons do. However, besides contributing to mass, neutrons also minimize the repulsive forces between protons so they could stay tightly packed within the nucleus.

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Subatomic Particles Chart

To make it easier to memorize the major and fundamental properties of subatomic particles, their mass unit, location, and their relevant charges, here we've made a subatomic particles chart for you.

Subatomic particle Charge Mass Unit Location
Proton Positive 1.0073 Nucleus
Electron Negative 0.0005 Orbital
Neutron Neutral 1.0087 Nucleus

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How do you Find the Subatomic Particles?

By now, we don't even have an instrument that can help us to find and analyze the subatomic particles present inside the atom. All the data we have today regarding the number of subatomic particles is mainly based on mathematical equations and scientific theories.

Thus, to find the numbers of subatomic particles present inside an atom, you can use some formulas. For example, the number of protons (atomic number) is always equal to that of the number of electrons revolving around the nucleus. Thus, if you find the atomic number, you can predict the number of electrons.

Similarly, the formula to calculate the atomic mass of an atom is as follows

Atomic mass = number of protons + number of neutrons

Thus, if you know the atomic mass, you can predict the number of both protons and neutrons by rearranging the balanced equation a little bit. Besides this, you can also calculate the number of neutrons by subtracting the mass number from the atomic number of a given atom.

So we hope you have liked our great article. Here we have undertsand all about the different smallest particles even smaller than an atom. You can also try balance equations calculator for balancing the chemical equations online with us.