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If matter is made up of molecules and molecules are made up of atoms what are atoms made of

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Atoms are made of the neutron, proton, and electron. The neutron and proton are together in the nucleus and the electron(s) are floating around outside of the nucleus. The number of electrons and protons are exactly equal in an atom, except in special cases. An atom's mass is made up mostly by the mass of the neutron and proton. The number of protons in the atom control the type of element the atom is, the number of electrons in the atom control how the atom reacts with other atoms, and the number of neutrons in the atom controls what isotope of the element it is.

A proton has a positive electrical charge and an electron has a negative electrical charge. So what keeps an electron from spiraling into a nucleus? Energy shells. An electron can only be in one of a few energy shells. Energy shells can be filled up by a certain number of electrons so that no more electrons can be in that shell. When electrons pass between shells, they have to absorb energy or emit energy as a photon (the fundamental particle of light or electromagnetic radiation). An atom is generally neutral in terms of electric charge, unless it has lost or gained an electron, in which case it is an ion.

Electrons are a type of particle called leptons, and are thought to be fundamental particles - in other words, there are no particles that make up electrons. Protons and neutrons, however, are not fundamental particles - they are made up of quarks. There are six types of quarks: up, down, top, bottom, strange, and charm. A proton is made of two up quarks and one down quark and a neutron is made of two down quarks and one up quark. Quarks are considered to be fundamental particles. Quarks are held together by gluons which carry one of the four fundamental forces, the strong nuclear force.

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