Friday, August 24, 2012

Baryon - Definition

A baryon is a composite subatomic particle made up of three quarks (as distinct from mesons, which comprise one quark and one antiquark). Baryons and mesons belong to the hadron family, which are the quark-based particles. The name "baryon" comes from the Greek word for "heavy" (βαρύς, barys), because, at the time of their naming, most known elementary particles had lower masses than the baryons.

As quark-based particles, baryons participate in the strong interaction, whereas leptons, which are not quark-based, do not. The most familiar baryons are the protons andneutrons that make up most of the mass of the visible matter in the universe. Electrons(the other major component of the atom) are leptons. Each baryon has a corresponding antiparticle (antibaryon) where quarks are replaced by their corresponding antiquarks. 
For example, a proton is made of two up quarks and one down quark; and its corresponding antiparticle, the antiproton, is made of two up antiquarks and one down antiquark.
Source: wikipedia, NASA

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