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Learn about planets outside our solar system through Exoplanets and Alien Solar Systems by Tahir Yaqoob, Ph.D., a book in our online store book collection.
Scientists study subatomic particles by examining the telltale trails, such as those shown here, their passage leaves behind in a bubble chamber. This image shows the first detection of a neutrino.
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Argonne National Laboratory

Atomic Physics & Particle Physics

Did you know that a lot of what happens in space physics has to do with the interaction of really tiny particles? These particles like protons and electrons are so tiny that you can't even see them with your naked eye. That means you'd need special instruments to detect that they are even there.

The study of these tiny particles is called atomic physics and particle physics. Other particles have funny names like muon, neutrino, meson, and quark.

The "laws" of physics at atomic scales are so different from those we see in our "normal" experiences that physicists had to invent a whole new field in the early part of the 20th century to describe them. This field is called quantum mechanics.

Last modified September 12, 2008 by Randy Russell.

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