Dr Rajiv Desai

An Educational Blog

THE ATOM

___________ THE ATOM: ___________ The figure above is an animation of the nuclear force (or residual strong force) interaction between a proton and a neutron. The small colored double circles are gluons, which can be seen binding the proton and neutron together. These gluons also hold the quark-antiquark combination called the pion (meson) together, and thus help transmit a residual part of the strong force even between colorless hadrons. Quarks each carry a single color charge, while gluons carry both a color and an anticolor charge. The combinations of three quarks e.g. proton/neutron (or three antiquarks e.g. antiproton/antineutron) or of quark-antiquark pairs (mesons) are the only combinations that the strong force seems to allow. ________ Prologue:  Since childhood I was curious about breaking down any matter (table/chair) into smaller pieces continually till I reach a point where it cannot be broken down. What is that point? Is matter infinitely divisible?  […]

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