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What makes up an atom?

i just need the complete and specific answers.
Question asked by: mackymina

Asked on: 19 Jun 2010

An atom is composed of the following:

Protons, neutrons and electrons

Well that is almost true but not quite because the element that makes up virtually all normal matter in the universe - that is of course hydrogen - actually does not normally contain any neutrons (apart from heavier versions of hydrogen called deuterium and tritium that have one and two neutrons accordingly).

However generally people do think of elements as being made of protons and neutrons in the nucleus, these are then surrounded by an electron cloud which are leptons (class of particles) as opposed to baryons (protons and neutrons).

Protons and neutrons are not elementary and are composed of quarks which themselves come in six flavours that are so far known (recent experiments hint there may be many more however); three quarks make up a proton and neutron though in different configurations for each particle.

Electrons are thought to be basic although again this may not be quite true and some recent experiments appeared to show electrons splitting into constituent parts though it is too early to tell if that really is the case or not too.

By: daveyc
Replied at: 20 Jun 2010
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The answer was just so perfect.
By: Ajilore S

Date of comment: Thu, Jan 19th 2012

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