An atom is a submicroscopic structure found in all ordinary matter. It is the smallest unit of an element to retain all the chemical properties of that element. Most atoms are composed of three types of massive subatomic particles which govern their external properties: electrons, protons, and neutrons. Together, protons and neutrons form the nucleus of an atom, which is surrounded by the electrons. But protons, and neutrons are actually composite particles, made up of quarks, as well as other particles such as photons and neutrinos which are produced copiously in the sun. However, most of the particles that have been discovered and studied are not encountered under normal earth conditions; they are produced in cosmic rays and during scattering processes in particle accelerators. Physics branches devoted to the study of atoms, nuclei and particles, their properties and associated phenomena such as radioactivity, nuclear fission and nuclear fusion, are, for example, quantum mechanics and nuclear physics.
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ABC's of Nuclear Science
[ Teens/Mature Teens ] An introduction to the world of the atomic nucleus and its structure. Includes the description of radioactive decays, cosmic radiation, fission, fusion, and antimatter.
[ Teens/Mature Teens ] Explores the complex history surrounding the invention of the atomic bomb.
Frontline: Nuclear Reaction
[ Mature Teens ] Articles on several subjects such as why the French like nuclear power, and what happened at Chernobyl.
How Atom Smashers Work
[ Mature Teens ] Shows specific information about the devices used to break apart something as miniscule as an atom.
How Atomic Clocks Work
[ Teens/Mature Teens ] Explains the principles behind the atomic clocks, the most accurate timekeepers in the world.
Natural Fossil Fission Reactors
[ Mature Teens ] Educational site about the natural nuclear fission that occurred in uranium deposits at Oklo, Gabon.
The Particle Adventure
[ Kids/Teens ] An interactive tour of quarks, neutrinos, antimatter, extra dimensions, dark matter, accelerators and particle detectors.
World's Largest Particle Accelerator - CERN
[ Teens/Mature Teens ] Features an aerial view and a slide show of the facilities, an interactive tour of the accelerators, and the scientists and their ideas.
Last update:May 29, 2015 at 12:05:41 UTC
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