Visualisation of quark structure of silicon

Visualisation of quark structure of silicon

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Credit: ARSCIMED/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Quark structure of the silicon nucleus. Computer visualisation of the nucleus of a silicon atom. The most common isotope, silicon-28, consists of 14 protons and 14 neutrons. These are represented as triplets of quarks surrounded by quantum clouds of gluons. Protons have two "up" quarks (blue) and one "down" quark (red); neutrons have one "up" and two "down". The clouds of virtual gluons are responsible for mediating the strong nuclear force; this holds the quarks together within the particles and also overcomes the electrical repulsion between adjacent protons.

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Keywords: atom, atomic nucleus, atomic structure, chemical, chemistry, element, neutron, nuclear structure, nucleon, nucleus, particle physics, proton, quark, silicon, silicon nucleus, structure, subatomic particles

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