elementary particle

noun

Definition of elementary particle

: any of the particles of which matter and energy are composed or which mediate the fundamental forces of nature especially : one whose existence has not been attributed to the combination of other more fundamental entities

Examples of elementary particle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

An elementary particle lacks definite physical properties and is defined only by probabilities of being in various states. Quanta Magazine, "Time’s Arrow Traced to Quantum Source," 16 Apr. 2014 The basic profile of monopoles depicts them as elementary particles carrying magnetic charge. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole," 13 Nov. 2018 Then there are dozens of particles made up of those elementary particles, including hadrons, which are constructed of quarks and gluons, and mesons, made of a quark and anti-quark. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The Large Hadron Collider Is Getting A Huge Power Boost," 19 June 2018 Other elementary particles—those that researchers don’t believe can be divided any further—include six flavors of leptons and the Higgs, known as a scalar boson. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The Large Hadron Collider Is Getting A Huge Power Boost," 19 June 2018 An article in March 15 editions quoting Stephen Hawking should have indicated that the radius of an elementary particle is 10 to the power of negative 13 and the radius of the universe is 10 to the power of 28. The Oregonian/oregonlive, OregonLive.com, "Newspaper corrections for March 22, 2018," 21 Mar. 2018 Controversy rages over something called the Rusakov field and an elementary particle known as Dust. Katie Ward Beim-esche, The Christian Science Monitor, "'La Belle Sauvage' will be like coming home for Philip Pullman fans," 12 Dec. 2017 So does Dust, an elementary particle attracted to human consciousness and associated, in the teachings of the Magisterium, with original sin. Sarah Jones, New Republic, "Philip Pullman’s War Against the Fanatics," 30 Oct. 2017 In 2014, a Japanese and a Canadian shared the physics prize for studies that proved that the elementary particles called neutrinos have mass. Bloomberg.com, "The Latest: Nobel-winning Scientists Laud Each Other, Team," 4 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elementary particle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of elementary particle

1934, in the meaning defined above

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30 Jun 2019

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The first known use of elementary particle was in 1934

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More Definitions for elementary particle

elementary particle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of elementary particle

physics : a particle (such as an electron or proton) that is smaller than an atom and does not appear to be made up of a combination of more basic things

elementary particle

noun

Medical Definition of elementary particle

1 : any of the particles of which matter and energy are composed or which mediate the fundamental forces of nature especially : one (as the photon or the electron) whose existence has not been attributed to the combination of other more fundamental entities
2 : one of the structural units of mitochondrial cristae that are observable by the electron microscope usually as spheres or stalked spheres and are probably the seat of fundamental energy-producing reactions

More from Merriam-Webster on elementary particle

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elementary particle

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