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elementary particle

noun, Physics.
1.
any lepton, hadron, photon, or graviton, the particles once thought to be the indivisible components of all matter or radiation.
Origin
1930-1935
1930-35
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for elementary particle
  • It is not absolutely certain that dark matter must be some sort of elementary particle.
  • Each elementary particle of matter also has an antimatter partner.
  • By extension every elementary particle must carry around enough information to produce the entire universe.
  • In the case of elementary particle physics the situation is even more alarming.
  • Though its not my field have always loved elementary particle physics.
  • But scientists strive to understand its nature to expand our knowledge of cosmology, astrophysics and elementary particle physics.
  • That's not to suggest he has neglected the field of elementary particle physics.
  • His work became one of the foundations of quantum electrodynamics, a key aspect of modern elementary particle physics.
  • It has been used for studies ranging from material characterization to elementary particle experiments.
British Dictionary definitions for elementary particle

elementary particle

noun
1.
any of several entities, such as electrons, neutrons, or protons, that are less complex than atoms and are regarded as the constituents of all matter Also called fundamental particle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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elementary particle in Medicine

elementary particle n.

  1. A knoblike body that appears on the luminal surfaces of mitochondrial cristae and is believed to be involved with the electron transport system.

  2. Any of the subatomic particles that compose matter and energy, especially one hypothesized or regarded as an irreducible constituent of matter. Also called fundamental particle.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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elementary particle in Science
elementary particle
  (ěl'ə-měn'tə-rē)   
Any of the smallest, discrete entities of which the universe is composed, including the quarks, leptons, and gauge bosons, which are not themselves made up of other particles. Most types of elementary particles have mass, though at least one, the photon, does not. Also called fundamental particle. See also composite particle, subatomic particle.

Our Living Language  : The smallest known units of matter, or elementary particles, are classified under three distinct groups: the quarks, the leptons, and the bosons. The six types or "flavors" of quarks are the up quark, the down quark, the charm quark, the strange quark, the top quark and the bottom quark. All quarks have mass, electric charge, and a special kind of charge called color, and each is associated with a distinct antiparticle, making twelve quarks in all. The leptons include the electron, the muon, the tau particle, the electron neutrino, the muon neutrino, and the tau neutrino. These particles also have distinct antiparticles; the neutrinos are electrically neutral and, if they do have mass, are extremely light. Each of these elementary particles interacts with other elementary particles through one or more forces: the electromagnetic force (between particles with electric charge), the strong force (between particles with color charge, such as the quarks), the weak force (between all leptons and quarks), and the gravitational force (between all particles). These forces are mediated by yet another set of elementary particles, the gauge bosons: when two particles interact, they exchange one or more gauge bosons. The gauge bosons include the W and Z bosons, which mediate the weak nuclear force, the gluon, which mediates the strong nuclear force, and the photon, which mediates the electromagnetic force. The hypothetical graviton, which would mediate the gravitational force, has not been isolated. A sixth boson, the Higgs boson, is believed to interact with the other elementary particles in such a way as to impart mass to them; it too has not been experimentally isolated. Though these particles are believed to be elementary, they can under certain circumstances change into other elementary particles. In beta decay, for example, an up quark turns into a down quark, emitting an electron and an electron antineutrino in the process. All known forms of matter and energy are made of combinations of and interactions between elementary particles; atoms, for example, are made of electrons orbiting a nucleus composed of quarks bound together into larger particles, the protons and neutrons. Whether these particles might themselves be composed of more fundamental building blocks is an open question, and the construction of a "theory of everything" that would explain the properties of all of the known particles and forces remains the ultimate goal for modern physics.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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