Atoms are made up of two types or flavors of sub-atomic particles, namely, leptons and quarks (Fig. 2.5). They are the particles that produce the electrons, protons, and neutrons, which are the types of atoms that constitute the visible matter we know today. Quarks are also known as “electron-like” particles and they each consist of three different types, namely, the electron, mau, tau, and three quarks, that is, the up, charm, and top.
Figure 2.5. Two Types (“Flavors”) of Atoms
One intriguing issue that baffles scientists are the forces that regulate the behavior of atomic and subatomic particles. What trigger electrons to move around its orbitals perfectly without bumping into each other and without colliding with the nucleus? Why do protons and neutrons always remain locked to each other and are able to push away all other particles that dare go near it?