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Physics for Kids

Elementary Particles - Quarks, Bosons, Leptons

What is an elementary particle?

An elementary particle is a particle that is not made up of any smaller particles. Elementary particles are the building blocks of the universe. All the other particles and matter in the universe are made up of elementary particles.


For many years scientists thought that the atom was the smallest particle possible. Then they learned that the atom was made up of even smaller particles. When we studied the atom we learned about the basic particles of the atom including the electron, proton, and neutron. Today, scientists have found even smaller particles that make up the proton and the neutron.

Types of Elementary particles

We won't go into a lot of detail on these particles, but it is interesting to know the names of some of these particles and how they make up larger particles such as the proton and neutron.

There are two main categories of elementary particles: fermions and bosons.


Fermions are the matter particles. All matter is made up fermions. Fermions are divided into two types of particles: quarks and leptons.

A proton is made up of three quarks


Bosons are force-carrying particles. This means that they are made up of tiny bundles of energy. Proton

A proton is made up of three quarks including two "up" quarks and one "down" quark.


A neutron is made up of three quarks including two "down" quarks and one "up" quark.

Fun Facts about Elementary Particles Activities

Nuclear Physics and Relativity Subjects
Periodic Table
Theory of Relativity
Relativity - Light and Time
Elementary Particles - Quarks
Nuclear Energy and Fission

Science >> Physics for Kids

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