Twitter Icon
Follow Me on Twitter

Quantumaniac is where it’s at - and by ‘it’ I mean awesome.

Over here, I post a ton of astronomy / math / general science in an attempt to make your brain feel good. My aim is to be as informative as possible, while posting fascinating things that hopefully enlighten us both a little to the mysteries of our truly wondrous universe(s?). Plus, how would you know if the blog exists or not unless you observe it?

Boom, just pulled the Schrödinger’s cat card. Now you have to check it out - trust me, it said so in an equation somewhere.

Also, please check out my web design company - O8 Labs

Follow Tyler Simko on Quora

 

How Much Does Fire Weigh? 
Question: Since fire is a plasma, and plasma is a state of matter, and matter is defined as anything that has mass, would that then mean that fire has mass and weight to it? If so, is there a way to measure its weight? How much space would, say, a pound of fire take up?
Answer: It weighs more than nothing, but if you’re at the bottom of a pillar of fire, being crushed should be your second concern
Fires, putting aside details about plasma and chemicals or whatever, is just hot air.  For a given pressure the ideal gas law says that the density of a gas is inversely proportional to temperature, in Kelvin.  You can use this fact, the temperature and density of air (300°K 1.3 kg/m3), and the temperature of your average run-of-the-mill open flame (about 1300°K) to find the density of fire. For most “everyday” fires, the density of the gas in the flame will be about 1/4 the density of air.  So, since air (at sea level) weighs about 1.3 kg per cubic meter (1.3 grams per liter), fire weighs about 0.3 kg per cubic meter.
One pound of ordinary fire, here on Earth near sea level, would take up a cube about 1.2 meters to a side.  The reason that fires always flow upward is that its density is lower than air.  So, fire rises in air for the same reason that bubbles rise in water: it’s buoyant.  Enterprising individuals sometimes even take advantage of that fact.
If you were on a planet with no air at all, fire would fall to the ground instead of rise because, like all matter, it’s pulled by gravity.  Also, it would be hard to keep the fire going (what with there being no air).

How Much Does Fire Weigh? 

Question: Since fire is a plasma, and plasma is a state of matter, and matter is defined as anything that has mass, would that then mean that fire has mass and weight to it? If so, is there a way to measure its weight? How much space would, say, a pound of fire take up?

AnswerIt weighs more than nothing, but if you’re at the bottom of a pillar of fire, being crushed should be your second concern

Fires, putting aside details about plasma and chemicals or whatever, is just hot air.  For a given pressure the ideal gas law says that the density of a gas is inversely proportional to temperature, in Kelvin.  You can use this fact, the temperature and density of air (300°K 1.3 kg/m3), and the temperature of your average run-of-the-mill open flame (about 1300°K) to find the density of fire. For most “everyday” fires, the density of the gas in the flame will be about 1/4 the density of air.  So, since air (at sea level) weighs about 1.3 kg per cubic meter (1.3 grams per liter), fire weighs about 0.3 kg per cubic meter.

One pound of ordinary fire, here on Earth near sea level, would take up a cube about 1.2 meters to a side.  The reason that fires always flow upward is that its density is lower than air.  So, fire rises in air for the same reason that bubbles rise in water: it’s buoyant.  Enterprising individuals sometimes even take advantage of that fact.

If you were on a planet with no air at all, fire would fall to the ground instead of rise because, like all matter, it’s pulled by gravity.  Also, it would be hard to keep the fire going (what with there being no air).

(Source: askamathematician.com)

Electron Politics: Physicists Probe Organization at the Quantum Level

A new study finds that “quantum critical points” in exotic electronic materials can act much like polarizing “hot button issues” in an election. On either side of a quantum critical point, electrons fall into line and behave as traditionally expected, but at the critical point itself, traditional physical laws break down.

"The beauty of the quantum critical point is that even though it’s only one point along the zero temperature axis, what happens at that point dictates how electrons will interact in the material under a broad set of physical conditions," said study co-author Qimiao Si, a theoretical physicist at Rice University. The new study involved "heavy-fermion metals," magnetic materials with many similarities to high-temperature superconductors.

Flowing electrons power all the lights, computers and gadgets that are plugged into the world’s energy grids, and physicists have spent more than a century describing how these electrons behave. But long-standing theories that describe how electrons interact in traditional metals and semiconductors have yet to explain the strange electronic properties of heavy-fermion metals, human-made composites that contain precise atomic arrangements of transition metals and rare earth elements.
In the new study, Si collaborated with a group of experimental physicists led by Frank Steglich at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids. The researchers examined several physical properties at extremely cold temperatures — some as much as 10 times colder than any such previous measurements — to show exactly how the standard theory of electron correlations in metals breaks down at the quantum critical point (QCP). That theory, Landau’s Fermi liquid theory, was first introduced in 1956.
"By measuring the ratio of the thermal to electrical transport near the QCP in one of the most-studied heavy-fermion metals — ytterbium dirhodium disilicide — we found a breakdown in the fundamental concepts of Landau-Fermi liquid theory," said Steglich, the founding director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids.
Quantum particles come in two main varieties — bosons and fermions. Bosons are the quantum equivalent of extroverts; they enjoy one another’s company and can occupy the same quantum space. Fermions are the opposite; no two can occupy the same quantum space, and this defines much of their behavior.
Electrons are fermions, and their tendency to seek quantum elbow room affects the way they organize. It’s important for scientists to understand how they behave in concert because even a small electric current in a tiny wire involves billions upon billions of individual electrons.
Landau-Fermi liquid theory is a mathematical system that allows physicists to describe the actions of many billions of electrons with just a handful of variables. Landau’s vehicle for collapsing the actions of so many particles is something he dubbed a “quasiparticle,” a placeholder that acts like an individual but describes the collective fate of many physical particles.
Read more

Electron Politics: Physicists Probe Organization at the Quantum Level

A new study finds that “quantum critical points” in exotic electronic materials can act much like polarizing “hot button issues” in an election. On either side of a quantum critical point, electrons fall into line and behave as traditionally expected, but at the critical point itself, traditional physical laws break down.

"The beauty of the quantum critical point is that even though it’s only one point along the zero temperature axis, what happens at that point dictates how electrons will interact in the material under a broad set of physical conditions," said study co-author Qimiao Si, a theoretical physicist at Rice University. The new study involved "heavy-fermion metals," magnetic materials with many similarities to high-temperature superconductors.

Flowing electrons power all the lights, computers and gadgets that are plugged into the world’s energy grids, and physicists have spent more than a century describing how these electrons behave. But long-standing theories that describe how electrons interact in traditional metals and semiconductors have yet to explain the strange electronic properties of heavy-fermion metals, human-made composites that contain precise atomic arrangements of transition metals and rare earth elements.

In the new study, Si collaborated with a group of experimental physicists led by Frank Steglich at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids. The researchers examined several physical properties at extremely cold temperatures — some as much as 10 times colder than any such previous measurements — to show exactly how the standard theory of electron correlations in metals breaks down at the quantum critical point (QCP). That theory, Landau’s Fermi liquid theory, was first introduced in 1956.

"By measuring the ratio of the thermal to electrical transport near the QCP in one of the most-studied heavy-fermion metals — ytterbium dirhodium disilicide — we found a breakdown in the fundamental concepts of Landau-Fermi liquid theory," said Steglich, the founding director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids.

Quantum particles come in two main varieties — bosons and fermions. Bosons are the quantum equivalent of extroverts; they enjoy one another’s company and can occupy the same quantum space. Fermions are the opposite; no two can occupy the same quantum space, and this defines much of their behavior.

Electrons are fermions, and their tendency to seek quantum elbow room affects the way they organize. It’s important for scientists to understand how they behave in concert because even a small electric current in a tiny wire involves billions upon billions of individual electrons.

Landau-Fermi liquid theory is a mathematical system that allows physicists to describe the actions of many billions of electrons with just a handful of variables. Landau’s vehicle for collapsing the actions of so many particles is something he dubbed a “quasiparticle,” a placeholder that acts like an individual but describes the collective fate of many physical particles.

Read more

Closing In On Dark Matter
When physicists and mathematicians want to get an idea into circulation before going through all the hoo-hah of peer-reviewed publication, they often post a paper on the arXiv server, where anyone who is curious can go and read it. Some arXiv papers turn out to be important, but much evaporates on closer inspection. Judging whether a new arXiv paper is one or the other can be extremely difficult. That is certainly the case with physicist Christoph Weniger’s paper, “A Tentative Gamma-Ray Line from Dark Matter Annihilation at the Fermi Large Area Telescope,” posted on April 12, on dark matter.
Dark matter, invisible and undetectable, makes up more than a quarter of the universe and has been an enigma to physicists and astronomers for more than a century. While physicists can’t look at dark matter directly, they can try to tell-tale trails that dark matter was present. Weniger has produced an analysis of data that—if it holds up—is a major step forward in explaining dark matter, and might provide the first unambiguous evidence of what this mysterious and elusive substance is.
Of course, we’ve heard dramatic claims like this before that didn’t pan out—and it’s certainly possible this one won’t either. We won’t know which way it goes until other scientists digest the analysis and weigh in, which could take months. And even so, it may take years before the findings are confirmed. In the meantime, it’s worth having a look at this latest experimental claim, if only to see how an outsider —a theorist unaffiliated with an experimental collaboration— occasionally tries to make a splash in the big collaboration world of physics.
The outsider, of course, is Weniger. A post-doc at the Max-Planck Institute of Physics, he is not a member of the collaboration that works on the Fermi Large Area Telescope (the collaboration goes by the acronym Fermi-LAT). However, Fermi-LAT makes its data publicly available, which allowed Weniger to use it for his investigation. In fact, his analysis goes over ground that researchers collaborating on the Fermi-LAT project have already trod. When they analyzed their data in previous years, the Fermi-LAT researchers found no strong evidence for dark matter. Weniger, however, wasn’t convinced. He and a few colleagues opted to re-crunch the Fermi-LAT data and in March, posted hints of dark matter that they had spotted. Weniger’s April 12 paper goes a step further, suggesting he’s spotted an even stronger signal at a specific energy.
Weniger’s analysis relies on a theory that predicts that when particles of dark matter meet, they will annihilate one another and create photons. In principal, you should be able to spot these photons in the form of high-energy gamma rays. Since the Large Area Telescope was built to study gamma rays, it’s an ideal instrument for this kind of search.
Weniger analyzed 43 months of data, which yielded strong evidence for a gamma ray source in the outskirts of the galaxy—a region called the galactic halo—which is exactly where theorists would predict you could find dark energy annihilations. Specifically, he’s claimed to spot the candidate gamma rays at 130 billion electron volts. For those of you keen on the statistical details, he’s claiming it with as much as 4.6 sigma certainty—which is to say, a high degree of certainty. For context: In current particle physics, evidence for the Higgs boson would be accepted as a discovery at 5 sigma certainty, so 4.6 is pretty good. That said, when he incorporates the necessary statistics for his targeted search and sample size, his results drop to a 3.5 sigma certainty, barely strong enough for publication.
What makes Weniger think that he got it right while the insiders at Fermi-LAT got it wrong? His is the first to include a full 43 months of data. Previous Fermi-LAT collaboration publications, such as results published in 2010, are limited to just 11 months.In addition, to updating the dataset, Weniger has developed his own algorithms for the dark matter search, which he believes do a better job understanding the region of the galaxy where dark matter is alleged to be. This improves his chances of distinguishing the sought out gamma rays from other galactic events.
But before we pop open the champagne, there are several important caveats. As Weniger himself acknowledges, several more years of data will be needed before it’s clear whether what he thinks he’s seen is real. In addition, because Weniger isn’t a member of the team that gathers data at Fermi-LAT, it’s possible he doesn’t entirely understand how the technology involved in detecting and collecting the data may affect the data. This is something that only collaborators are likely to have studied with enough care to correct for in their analysis. The paper could amount to nothing more than another dark matter dead end.
Things might get interesting if the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, to which Weniger is submitting this paper, opts to publish. That stamp of approval would set Weniger’s work above a great many other arXived efforts. Another development to watch for is a response from the folks on the Fermi collaboration. They know this data better than anyone, and if there’s something to be learned from Weniger’s approach, they’ll want to take it seriously. If nothing else, this is one more in a string of recent examples that shows how we are closing in on dark matter. For now, we watch and wait.

Closing In On Dark Matter

When physicists and mathematicians want to get an idea into circulation before going through all the hoo-hah of peer-reviewed publication, they often post a paper on the arXiv server, where anyone who is curious can go and read it. Some arXiv papers turn out to be important, but much evaporates on closer inspection. Judging whether a new arXiv paper is one or the other can be extremely difficult. That is certainly the case with physicist Christoph Weniger’s paper, “A Tentative Gamma-Ray Line from Dark Matter Annihilation at the Fermi Large Area Telescope,” posted on April 12, on dark matter.

Dark matter, invisible and undetectable, makes up more than a quarter of the universe and has been an enigma to physicists and astronomers for more than a century. While physicists can’t look at dark matter directly, they can try to tell-tale trails that dark matter was present. Weniger has produced an analysis of data that—if it holds up—is a major step forward in explaining dark matter, and might provide the first unambiguous evidence of what this mysterious and elusive substance is.

Of course, we’ve heard dramatic claims like this before that didn’t pan out—and it’s certainly possible this one won’t either. We won’t know which way it goes until other scientists digest the analysis and weigh in, which could take months. And even so, it may take years before the findings are confirmed. In the meantime, it’s worth having a look at this latest experimental claim, if only to see how an outsider —a theorist unaffiliated with an experimental collaboration— occasionally tries to make a splash in the big collaboration world of physics.

The outsider, of course, is Weniger. A post-doc at the Max-Planck Institute of Physics, he is not a member of the collaboration that works on the Fermi Large Area Telescope (the collaboration goes by the acronym Fermi-LAT). However, Fermi-LAT makes its data publicly available, which allowed Weniger to use it for his investigation. In fact, his analysis goes over ground that researchers collaborating on the Fermi-LAT project have already trod. When they analyzed their data in previous years, the Fermi-LAT researchers found no strong evidence for dark matter. Weniger, however, wasn’t convinced. He and a few colleagues opted to re-crunch the Fermi-LAT data and in March, posted hints of dark matter that they had spotted. Weniger’s April 12 paper goes a step further, suggesting he’s spotted an even stronger signal at a specific energy.

Weniger’s analysis relies on a theory that predicts that when particles of dark matter meet, they will annihilate one another and create photons. In principal, you should be able to spot these photons in the form of high-energy gamma rays. Since the Large Area Telescope was built to study gamma rays, it’s an ideal instrument for this kind of search.

Weniger analyzed 43 months of data, which yielded strong evidence for a gamma ray source in the outskirts of the galaxy—a region called the galactic halo—which is exactly where theorists would predict you could find dark energy annihilations. Specifically, he’s claimed to spot the candidate gamma rays at 130 billion electron volts. For those of you keen on the statistical details, he’s claiming it with as much as 4.6 sigma certainty—which is to say, a high degree of certainty. For context: In current particle physics, evidence for the Higgs boson would be accepted as a discovery at 5 sigma certainty, so 4.6 is pretty good. That said, when he incorporates the necessary statistics for his targeted search and sample size, his results drop to a 3.5 sigma certainty, barely strong enough for publication.

What makes Weniger think that he got it right while the insiders at Fermi-LAT got it wrong? His is the first to include a full 43 months of data. Previous Fermi-LAT collaboration publications, such as results published in 2010, are limited to just 11 months.In addition, to updating the dataset, Weniger has developed his own algorithms for the dark matter search, which he believes do a better job understanding the region of the galaxy where dark matter is alleged to be. This improves his chances of distinguishing the sought out gamma rays from other galactic events.

But before we pop open the champagne, there are several important caveats. As Weniger himself acknowledges, several more years of data will be needed before it’s clear whether what he thinks he’s seen is real. In addition, because Weniger isn’t a member of the team that gathers data at Fermi-LAT, it’s possible he doesn’t entirely understand how the technology involved in detecting and collecting the data may affect the data. This is something that only collaborators are likely to have studied with enough care to correct for in their analysis. The paper could amount to nothing more than another dark matter dead end.

Things might get interesting if the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, to which Weniger is submitting this paper, opts to publish. That stamp of approval would set Weniger’s work above a great many other arXived efforts. Another development to watch for is a response from the folks on the Fermi collaboration. They know this data better than anyone, and if there’s something to be learned from Weniger’s approach, they’ll want to take it seriously. If nothing else, this is one more in a string of recent examples that shows how we are closing in on dark matter. For now, we watch and wait.

(Source: blogs.scientificamerican.com)

Tau Leptons
The tau (τ), also called the tau lepton, is an elementary particle that is quite similar to the electron and muon. The charge on the tau is negative, and it has a spin of 1/2. Together with the electron, muon and three neutrinos - the tau is a lepton. The tau, like any elementary particle, has a corresponding antiparticle - in this case the antitau (or positive tau). Tau particles are denoted by τ− and the antitau by τ+
Tau leptons have a lifetime of 2.9×10−13 s and a mass of 1,777 MeV/c2 (compared to 105.7 MeV/c2 for muons and 0.511 MeV/c2 for electrons). Since their electrons are very similar to those of electrons, in theoretical work a tau can be thought of as a much heavier version of the electron.  
The tau was detected between 1974 and 1977 by Martin Lewis Perl and colleagues via a series of experiments at the SLAC-LBL group. The tau is the only lepton that can decay into hadrons, the others lack the necessary mass. 
P.S: Do you like the picture? Get awesome plush particles from the Particle Zoo! 

Tau Leptons

The tau (τ), also called the tau lepton, is an elementary particle that is quite similar to the electron and muon. The charge on the tau is negative, and it has a spin of 1/2. Together with the electron, muon and three neutrinos - the tau is a lepton. The tau, like any elementary particle, has a corresponding antiparticle - in this case the antitau (or positive tau). Tau particles are denoted by τ− and the antitau by τ+

Tau leptons have a lifetime of 2.9×10−13 s and a mass of 1,777 MeV/c2 (compared to 105.7 MeV/c2 for muons and 0.511 MeV/c2 for electrons). Since their electrons are very similar to those of electrons, in theoretical work a tau can be thought of as a much heavier version of the electron.  

The tau was detected between 1974 and 1977 by Martin Lewis Perl and colleagues via a series of experiments at the SLAC-LBL group. The tau is the only lepton that can decay into hadrons, the others lack the necessary mass. 

P.S: Do you like the picture? Get awesome plush particles from the Particle Zoo

W and Z Bosons

Known together as the weak bosons, the W and Z bosons are the elementary particles that, as can be suspected, mediate the weak nuclear force. The bosons are symbolized by W+, W- and Z. 

The W bosons have a positive and negative electric charge of 1 elementary charge, corresponding to their particular + or -, and they are each other’s antiparticle. On the other hand, the Z boson is electrically neutral - and is its own antiparticle. All three of the particles lead very short lives - they have a half-live of about 3×10−25 s. 

Physicist Steven Weinberg named the Z particle as such because of its ‘zero’ electric charge and it was the “last additional particle needed by the [Standard] model.” The W bosons were named after the Weak force. 

The Z boson is most easily detected as a necessary theoretical force-mediator whenever neutrinos scatter elastically from matter, something that must happen without the production or absorption of new, charged particles. Such behavior (which is almost as common as inelastic neutrino interactions) is seen in bubble chambers irradiated with neutrino beams. 

P.S: Do you like the picture? Get awesome plush particles from the Particle Zoo

The Case of the Missing Dark Matter
A survey of the galactic region around our solar system by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has turned up a surprising lack of dark matter, making its alleged existence even more of a mystery.
Dark matter is an invisible substance that is suspected to exist in large quantity around galaxies, lending mass but emitting no radiation. The only evidence for it comes from its gravitational effect on the material around it… up to now, dark matter itself has not been directly detected. Regardless, it has been estimated to make up 80% of all the mass in the Universe.
A team of astronomers at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile has mapped the region around over 400 stars near the Sun, some of which were over 13,000 light-years distant. What they found was a quantity of material that coincided with what was observable: stars, gas, and dust… but no dark matter.
“The amount of mass that we derive matches very well with what we see — stars, dust and gas — in the region around the Sun,” said team leader Christian Moni Bidin of the Universidad de Concepción in Chile. “But this leaves no room for the extra material — dark matter — that we were expecting. Our calculations show that it should have shown up very clearly in our measurements. But it was just not there!”
Based on the team’s results, the dark matter halos thought to envelop galaxies would have to have “unusual” shapes — making their actual existence highly improbable.
Still, something is causing matter and radiation in the Universe to behave in a way that belies its visible mass. If it’s not dark matter, then what is it?
“Despite the new results, the Milky Way certainly rotates much faster than the visible matter alone can account for,” Bidin said. “So, if dark matter is not present where we expected it, a new solution for the missing mass problem must be found.
“Our results contradict the currently accepted models. The mystery of dark matter has just became even more mysterious.”

The Case of the Missing Dark Matter

A survey of the galactic region around our solar system by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has turned up a surprising lack of dark matter, making its alleged existence even more of a mystery.

Dark matter is an invisible substance that is suspected to exist in large quantity around galaxies, lending mass but emitting no radiation. The only evidence for it comes from its gravitational effect on the material around it… up to now, dark matter itself has not been directly detected. Regardless, it has been estimated to make up 80% of all the mass in the Universe.

A team of astronomers at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile has mapped the region around over 400 stars near the Sun, some of which were over 13,000 light-years distant. What they found was a quantity of material that coincided with what was observable: stars, gas, and dust… but no dark matter.

“The amount of mass that we derive matches very well with what we see — stars, dust and gas — in the region around the Sun,” said team leader Christian Moni Bidin of the Universidad de Concepción in Chile. “But this leaves no room for the extra material — dark matter — that we were expecting. Our calculations show that it should have shown up very clearly in our measurements. But it was just not there!”

Based on the team’s results, the dark matter halos thought to envelop galaxies would have to have “unusual” shapes — making their actual existence highly improbable.

Still, something is causing matter and radiation in the Universe to behave in a way that belies its visible mass. If it’s not dark matter, then what is it?

“Despite the new results, the Milky Way certainly rotates much faster than the visible matter alone can account for,” Bidin said. “So, if dark matter is not present where we expected it, a new solution for the missing mass problem must be found.

“Our results contradict the currently accepted models. The mystery of dark matter has just became even more mysterious.”

(Source: universetoday.com)

Electrons
To round out the basic atomic particles, the electron is a subatomic particle with a unitary negative electric charge, equal to the charge of a proton but with an opposite sign. Electrons are fermions due to their half-integer spin, as well as leptons, and have an extremely small mass - approximately 1/1836 that of the proton. Since an electron is a fermion, no two electrons can occupy the same quantum state - in accordance with the Pauli Exclusion Principle.
The antiparticle of the electron is called the positron. As with any particle-antiparticle pair, when the two collide they annihilate each other and produce gamma ray photons. Electrons participate in the gravitational, electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces. The weird principle of wave-particle duality in quantum mechanics can be best demonstrated through experiments using electrons. 
The concept of an indivisible quantity of electric charge was theorized in 1838 by British natural philosopher Richard Laming. The electron was introduced in 1894 by physicist George Johnstone Stoney, and was first identified as a particle three years later 1897 by J.J. Thomson and his team of physicists. 
Electrons, together with atomic nuclei made of protons and neutrons, make up atoms. However, electrons contribute less than 0.06% of an atom’s total mass. The attraction between the opposite charges of the proton and electron due to the Compton effect is what holds atoms together. 
P.S: Do you like the picture? Get awesome plush particles from the Particle Zoo! 

Electrons

To round out the basic atomic particles, the electron is a subatomic particle with a unitary negative electric charge, equal to the charge of a proton but with an opposite sign. Electrons are fermions due to their half-integer spin, as well as leptons, and have an extremely small mass - approximately 1/1836 that of the proton. Since an electron is a fermion, no two electrons can occupy the same quantum state - in accordance with the Pauli Exclusion Principle.

The antiparticle of the electron is called the positron. As with any particle-antiparticle pair, when the two collide they annihilate each other and produce gamma ray photons. Electrons participate in the gravitational, electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces. The weird principle of wave-particle duality in quantum mechanics can be best demonstrated through experiments using electrons. 

The concept of an indivisible quantity of electric charge was theorized in 1838 by British natural philosopher Richard Laming. The electron was introduced in 1894 by physicist George Johnstone Stoney, and was first identified as a particle three years later 1897 by J.J. Thomson and his team of physicists. 

Electrons, together with atomic nuclei made of protons and neutrons, make up atoms. However, electrons contribute less than 0.06% of an atom’s total mass. The attraction between the opposite charges of the proton and electron due to the Compton effect is what holds atoms together. 

P.S: Do you like the picture? Get awesome plush particles from the Particle Zoo

Neutrons
A neutron is a subatomic hadron particle, symbolized by n, that carries no electric charge. The neutron has a mass slightly larger than that of a proton, measuring in at 1.674927351(74) x 10-27 kg. Neutrons are present in the nuclei of every atom, with the exception of hydrogen, alongside protons. Protons and neutrons are collectively referred to as nucleons, as they are the particles that comprise the nucleus. 
Neutrons are necessary components of the atomic nucleus, for they bind with protons via the strong nuclear force. Because of their like charge, protons would not be able to bind and form a nucleus under normal circumstances; they are only able to do so because of neutrons and the strong nuclear force. The number of neutrons in an atom determines the isotope of that element, for example - carbon usually has 6 neutrons, but if it has 8 it is known as carbon-14, because of the new atomic mass. 
After the neutron was discovered in 1932 by James Chadwick, it was realized that it could mediate a nuclear chain reaction. When nuclear fission was discovered in 1938, it was soon realized that this might be the mechanism to produce the neutrons for the chain reaction, if the process also produced neutrons, and this was proven in 1939, making the path to nuclear power production evident. These events and findings led to the first nuclear weapons. 
P.S: Do you like the picture? Get awesome plush particles from the Particle Zoo! 

Neutrons

A neutron is a subatomic hadron particle, symbolized by n, that carries no electric charge. The neutron has a mass slightly larger than that of a proton, measuring in at 1.674927351(74) x 10-27 kg. Neutrons are present in the nuclei of every atom, with the exception of hydrogen, alongside protons. Protons and neutrons are collectively referred to as nucleons, as they are the particles that comprise the nucleus. 

Neutrons are necessary components of the atomic nucleus, for they bind with protons via the strong nuclear force. Because of their like charge, protons would not be able to bind and form a nucleus under normal circumstances; they are only able to do so because of neutrons and the strong nuclear force. The number of neutrons in an atom determines the isotope of that element, for example - carbon usually has 6 neutrons, but if it has 8 it is known as carbon-14, because of the new atomic mass. 

After the neutron was discovered in 1932 by James Chadwick, it was realized that it could mediate a nuclear chain reaction. When nuclear fission was discovered in 1938, it was soon realized that this might be the mechanism to produce the neutrons for the chain reaction, if the process also produced neutrons, and this was proven in 1939, making the path to nuclear power production evident. These events and findings led to the first nuclear weapons. 

P.S: Do you like the picture? Get awesome plush particles from the Particle Zoo

Protons
The proton is a subatomic particle with a positive electric charge of 1 elementary charge. Typically symbolized by p, one or more protons are present in the nucleus of every atom - along with neutrons for most atoms.The number of protons in an atom is known as the atomic number. 
Discovered in 1918 by Ernest Rutherford, the proton is a hadron - composed of quarks. Before the standard model of particle physics, the proton was considered as fundamental, but now we know that protons are composed of two up quarks and one down quark. Although these quarks only contribute about 1% of the proton’s total mass, the remainder of the mass id due to the quarks kinetic energy and the energy of the gluon fields that bind them together. The proton is about 1.6-1.7 fm (femtometers) in diameter. Along with neutrons, protons are in a group called nucleons. 
The attraction of low-energy protons to electrons, either free electrons or electrons as present in normal matter, causes such protons to soon form chemical bonds with atoms. This happens at sufficiently “cold” temperatures (comparable to temperatures at the surface of the Sun). In interaction with normal (non-plasma) matter, low-velocity free protons are attracted to electrons in any atom or molecule with which they come in contact, causing them to combine. In vacuum, a sufficiently slow proton may pick up a free electron, becoming a neutral hydrogen atom, which will then react chemically with other atoms if they are available and sufficiently cold.
P.S: Do you like the picture? Get awesome plush particles from the Particle Zoo! 

Protons

The proton is a subatomic particle with a positive electric charge of 1 elementary charge. Typically symbolized by p, one or more protons are present in the nucleus of every atom - along with neutrons for most atoms.The number of protons in an atom is known as the atomic number. 

Discovered in 1918 by Ernest Rutherford, the proton is a hadron - composed of quarks. Before the standard model of particle physics, the proton was considered as fundamental, but now we know that protons are composed of two up quarks and one down quark. Although these quarks only contribute about 1% of the proton’s total mass, the remainder of the mass id due to the quarks kinetic energy and the energy of the gluon fields that bind them together. The proton is about 1.6-1.7 fm (femtometers) in diameter. Along with neutrons, protons are in a group called nucleons. 

The attraction of low-energy protons to electrons, either free electrons or electrons as present in normal matter, causes such protons to soon form chemical bonds with atoms. This happens at sufficiently “cold” temperatures (comparable to temperatures at the surface of the Sun). In interaction with normal (non-plasma) matter, low-velocity free protons are attracted to electrons in any atom or molecule with which they come in contact, causing them to combine. In vacuum, a sufficiently slow proton may pick up a free electron, becoming a neutral hydrogen atom, which will then react chemically with other atoms if they are available and sufficiently cold.

P.S: Do you like the picture? Get awesome plush particles from the Particle Zoo