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Watching out for vultures
Poison Dart Frogs
Dolphin Sponge Moms
From Chimps to People
A Seabird's Endless Summer
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Chemistry and Materials
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Moon Crash, Splash
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Electronic Paper Turns a Page
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Slip Slidin' Away—Under the Sea
Farms sprout in cities
Petrified Lightning
A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
Flu river
The Wolf and the Cow
Finding the Past
Writing on eggshells
Preserving Ancient Warrior Paint
Untangling Human Origins
Manta Rays
Tiger Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
Healing Honey
Yummy bugs
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. Whom
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Mastering The GSAT Exam
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GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
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Math of the World
Human Body
Taste Messenger
Cell Phones and Possible Health Hazards
Walking to Exercise the Brain
Children and Media
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
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Spin, Splat, and Scramble
IceCube Science
The Particle Zoo
Springing forward
Stalking Plants by Scent
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
Black Mamba
Space and Astronomy
No Fat Stars
Ringing Saturn
A Puffy Planetary Puzzle
Technology and Engineering
Model Plane Flies the Atlantic
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
Crime Lab
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
Adjectives and Adverbs
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The Particle Zoo

Particles are the building blocks of matter, and matter makes up everything you can see. The Earth and moon are matter. So is your body, your computer’s screen, even the air you breathe. Which means they’re all made of particles. Particles are the building blocks of matter, and matter makes up everything you can see. The Earth and moon are matter. So is your body, your computer’s screen, even the air you breathe. Which means they’re all made of particles. Lots and lots of particles, of all different kinds, stuck together. Atoms, which used to be considered the smallest unit of matter, are made from particles too. Just how small is an atom? That’s a tricky question, since different atoms have different sizes and atoms are mostly empty space. But here’s one way to think about it: Let’s say you wanted to fill up a baseball-sized bowl with gold atoms. You’d need roughly twice as many of these atoms as it would take to fill an Earth-sized bowl with baseballs. Particles that are even smaller than an atom are called “subatomic.” The main subatomic particles that make up atoms are protons, electrons and neutrons. But some of these particles are also made of even smaller particles. Protons and neutrons, for example, are made of subatomic particles called “quarks.” There are six kinds of quarks, each with a weird name: up, down, strange, charm, top and bottom. Dozens of types of subatomic particle exist, and scientists suspect there may be still more to discover. When a new type emerges, scientists tend to give them pretty odd-sounding names. To date, we’ve got bosons, fermions, leptons, muons, pions, neutrinos, photons, gluons, and gravitons. Neutrinos are unusually weird because they have almost no mass and they fly through space at almost the speed of light. Three types exist: muon neutrinos, electron neutrinos and tau neutrinos. And the strangest particle of all: the tachyon. It’s considered “hypothetical,” which means it might not even exist. If it does, it can go faster than the speed of light and travel back in time. No wonder some physicists refer to these — the smallest inhabitants of our universe — as their “particle zoo.”

The Particle Zoo
The Particle Zoo

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