# Smallest particle?

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Are the smallest particles quarks and leptons? (which make up a quark?)

So are quarks and leptons the smallest particle known (observed)? Are there theories that support these particles are the smallest?

It's been bugging me how there can be "the smallest particle."

I think if we were to cut/crush/heat the particle enough it would be divided into subparticles.

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I think if we were to cut/crush/heat the particle enough it would be divided into subparticles.

kind of... to seperate atoms, scientists use particle accelerators. Essentally what this is, is that atoms are accelerated to incredibly high speeds (close to the speed of light) using eletromagnets. Then they atoms are smashed together, and instruments are used to see what comes out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particle_accelerator

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he's sayin that he thinks quarks and leptons can be divided into even smaller bits. What is the quark group called?

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so the theory is that quarks are made of leptons?

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quarks and leptons are two different type of elementry particle, making up other fundamental particles. there are 6 different type of quark and lepton. quarks and leptons are grouped togeather in a group called fermions, which just means that they have a half integeral spin. so for the moment id say that they are the most elementry of particles.

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quarks and leptons are two different type of elementry particle, making up other fundamental particles. there are 6 different type of quark and lepton. quarks and leptons are grouped togeather in a group called fermions, which just means that they have a half integeral spin. so for the moment id say that they are the most elementry of particles.

You can get Bosons from the combinations, too. Mesons are quark-antiquark pairs, and have integral spin.

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IIRC, one Sub-catagory were named such things as Faith, Hope and Charity, one was called Strangeness, Im uncertain which they fell under (or even if I have all the "Names" correctly remembered, I know Strangeness is correct), but it was smallest known at THAT time

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Integeral spin just means the spin is an integer, ie. 1 or 2.... I mean, that's kinda obvious, it's just I remember learning this a while back and I knew that bosons were integeral spins and possible values, but it never really click integeral --> integer and a while back it just clicked!!! Anyway, just thought I'd share some of that wisdom for anyone young and learning!

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IIRC, one Sub-catagory were named such things as Faith, Hope and Charity, one was called Strangeness, Im uncertain which they fell under (or even if I have all the "Names" correctly remembered, I know Strangeness is correct), but it was smallest known at THAT time

Yub yub (almost)... they're quarks which are fermions there are: up, down, strange, charm, bottom, top.

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Quarks are said to be point particles, that is the have no volume like ..a point, string thoery says these point particles are actually not particles at all but vibrating open or closed end strings

The groups of particles are Bosons (force carrying particles of spin 0,1,2...), Fermions (matter constituents of spin 1/2,3/2,5/2..)But there are leptons like electrons and then there are quarks in the fermions group.Of which everything comes from e.g a proton is two up quarks and one down quark, sss, udd, etc etc

Note, these always combine to have no colour to be stable, although not in the every day sense of colour as light of visible wavelength is far too big

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• 1 month later...

In sub-particle realm, I think the word 'small' is a bit misleading. Top quarke is heavy, about 35000 times heavier than up and down quark and probably as heavy as gold. But this does not mean its size is bigger than a gold atom !?

Electron is small and consider point-like too.

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One of the main aims of particle physics in the future is to prove the existence or nonexistence of the Higgs boson. Neutrinos are interesting as well.

http://www.fnal.gov/pub/inquiring/matter/future/index.html

It's been bugging me how there can be "the smallest particle."

I think if we were to cut/crush/heat the particle enough it would be divided into subparticles.

yeah, it's like they say you can break a bar magnet many times until it reaches to one dipole, maybe dipoles can be further divided?

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• 4 years later...
One of the main aims of particle physics in the future is to prove the existence or nonexistence of the Higgs boson. Neutrinos are interesting as well.

http://www.fnal.gov/pub/inquiring/matter/future/index.html

yeah, it's like they say you can break a bar magnet many times until it reaches to one dipole, maybe dipoles can be further divided?

Dipoles are like tiny magnets; they can be broken down even further to make more magnets. But inside those dipoles are no quadpoles or things like that. They are the elementary.

You can cut a quark or lepton in half, but unlike when you cut a particle containing quarks, I do not think you are going to get anything or go anywhere.

However,I'm not quite sure.

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