# The composition of electrons, quarks and gluons: something or nothing? [closed]

It is told that electrons, quarks and gluons are indivisible thus have no compositions like any particles. So, are they actually composed of nothing or space?

• Something: At least energy. Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 9:12
• Charge of various sorts, spin, rest energy. Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 9:26

We do not know what they are composed of. They are certainly not composed of 'nothing' or 'space' alone, otherwise they would be indistinguishable from empty space. The application of the adjective 'indivisible, simply means that whatever comprises such a particle cannot, as far as we know, be broken down into smaller components.

• Empty space also can't be broken down into smaller components, similar to those indivisible particles Commented Jan 7 at 3:19

According to our best models, elementary particles like quarks, gluons and electrons, are point-like in nature and do not have any spatial extension. In other words, they do not occupy a finite volume. They do however have mass and energy, and can combine to form heavier particles, atoms, molecules etc., that have volume.

This might seem contradictory in that how can objects with no volume combine to form objects that do?

One way to understand how is to consider that particles have quantum numbers, and these quantum numbers are what do give rise to volume. For example, the Pauli Exclusion principle tells us that no two electrons in an atom can be in the same quantum state, and so the electrons surrounding an atom occupy increasing volume as the number of electrons increases.

• A gluon has a color charge and an anticolor charge, but not due to comprising a quark and antiquark. If elementary particles are "made of" anything, it's conserved charges, including energy.
– J.G.
Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 7:19
• So, the answer is elementary particles such as electrons, quarks and gluons are basically composed of void with the difference is that elementary particles have mass while void isn't? Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 7:23
• @SnoopyKid As far as we know, elementary particles have no volume and yes, are point-particles. Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 7:26