• Yasunori NomuraEmail author
  • Bill Poirier
  • John Terning
Part of the Multiversal Journeys book series (MVJ)


The reason that a lot of people think of elementary particles as being tiny little balls is that scientists often show pictures of atoms and elementary particles where the particles are represented by tiny little balls, see Fig. 7.1. As far as we know, elementary particles are fluctuations of quantum fields, but that is very hard to convey in a picture.
Fig. 7.1

The core of the atom is a nucleus, the nucleus is made of protons and neutrons, which in turn are made of quarks. While experiments have be able to resolve the size of the nucleus, the proton, and the neutron, no one has seen any evidence that quarks (and electrons) have a size; we only know their size is less than 10−18 meters. The picture is obviously not drawn to scale.


Large Hadron Collider Successive Crests Laser Light Pass Alpha Particles Frustrating Work 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physics, Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsUC DavisDavisUSA

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