Before entering fully into the meaning of the term subatomic particle, it is essential to know the etymological origin of the two words that make it up. Thus, for example, particle derives from Latin, from "particle", which is made up of the following parts:
- “Par, partis”, which is synonymous with “part”.
-The suffix "-cula", which can be translated as "small".
On the other hand, it is subatomic which is a neologism that was formed from the sum of two components:
-The Latin prefix "sub-", which means "under".
-The Greek term "atomon", which is equivalent to "cannot be further divided".
-The suffix "-ico", which indicates "relative to".
In the context of the chemistry , the particles they are very small fragments of matter which, despite its tiny dimensions, keeps the chemical properties of a substance intact. The adjective subatomic On the other hand, it mentions at the level of a structure that is smaller than that of the atom .
If we consider these definitions, we can affirm that subatomic particles are those more girls than an atom . It may be a elementary particle , although there are also composite subatomic particles .
The electrons , the protons and the neutrons They are some examples of subatomic particles. These, in turn, are composed of fundamental particles that are known as quarks .
It is important to note that it is very difficult to find the elementary subatomic particles in a natural state on our planet: due to their instability , usually break down and give rise to other types of particles. The particle accelerators they are man-made devices to generate subatomic particles mimicking the behavior of the nature .
Beyond neutrons, electrons and protons, which are the best known subatomic particles, there are other types of elements that share the same condition. The neutrinos , for example, are subatomic particles whose existence could be verified only in the mid-1950s. Other subatomic particles are hadrons and the pions .
The pion, in particular, is a subatomic particle that has a number of basic characteristics, such as these:
-It has zero spin.
-It was discovered in 1935 by Hideki Yukawa.
-It has an intermediate mass between the one with the proton and the one that counts the electron.
-It is difficult to detect. Why? Because it has a very short duration. Specifically, it is established that a charge pion lasts a maximum of one hundred millionth of a second.
-This type of particle is considered essential. So much so that it is considered that without this matter as such could not exist. Specifically, it is the key to the existence of atomic nuclei.
This type of subatomic particle as well as the rest become important axes of study by the so-called quantum field theory.
Subatomic particles constitute an object of study of various branches of the physical , as the quantum physics , the particle physics , the nuclear physics and the atomic physics . They are also a point of interest for other specialties, such as quantum mechanics .