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.
Click on image for full size
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.
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