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subhankar karmakar

A fundamental question that haunts philosophers as well as physicists throughout the ages is nothing but the true essence of the behaviour and composition of matter. From ancient times different advanced human civilization have tried to reveal the intrinsic composition of matter, many philosophers had involved themselves to find out the true nature of matter. Ancient Greeks, Egyptian, Arabian, European philosophers tried to formulate a successful theory of matter.

All of us know that we exist in this world, ie in reality, but when some one asks about the true nature of reality, modern science has only partially correct theory to predict the outcome of an event in reality. Years ago I had seen a hollywood science fiction named "Matrix". There was a scene in the movie, where Morpheuse asked "Neo", "What is reality?" Does all the objects we see around us is real? If so, what is the difference between reality and virtual world. Can't we make a virtual world that would be indistinguishable from the real world? In Matrix, they had shown that the reality can be simulated, rather betterly say that by manupulating input signal we can simulate a reality which has all the characteristics of reality, but still it's not real in such a meaning.

Physics as a part of the general science was introduced to us when we were in class V. It was a love at first sight for me. Unbelievably I have found that the puzzles and querries I have, can be explained with the help of theories of Physics.Since then we know that the matter, which in reality, is looked like a continuous substance is in fact not continuous. We are told that every matter is composed of smallest unit of that matter, which is the building block of matter, and named as molecules. And for every different substances, their molecules are also totally different, distinct, and have different properties, physical as well as chemical. So, the next question that comes to our mind is about molecules itself! We, thus know the apparently continuous matter is in fact descrete, but that is beyond our perception too. So, matter is composed of molecules, but can a molecule be again divided into some more elemental forms of mass. As, the science progressed, our knowledge is exponentially burgeoning, and it is discovered that molecules are also divisible, they are not fundamental basic particles. So, our text book conveyed to us that a molecule is composed of one or more particles that may or may not be of same kind of substance. But, as we divide molecules into atoms, the matter loses it's properties, so molecules are the smallest unit of matter that can retain the properties. So, can we say an atom is the most fundamental particle? The answer is no, as the magnitudes of human conquest progressed exponentially in micro - nano domain, we came to know about relative voidness inside an atom. An atom has a core, aptly named as NUCLEUS. Later it was found that the core i.e. the Nucleus is made of two particles of nearly comparable mass and around them another types very very light particles are revolving, just like all the planets are revolving around the Sun. The two types of components those we have found as the key ingredients of the nucleus of an atom are named as Neutron and Proton, and it has been found that in addition to mass, another fundamental physical quantity named Charge. Where as the neutron is charge neutral, proton has a positive charge. The lighter particles orbiting the nucleus of an atom are named as Electrons. They have charge too, but unlike proton they have opposite kinds of charge, hence is named as negative charge. For a long time scientists used to believe these three kinds of particles as the most fundamental and basic particles and they are responsible for any kind of structure that are visible in this universe.

Due to the development of the atomic theory we could be able to reduce all the matters into different combinations of three types of sub atomic particles i.e. negatively charged electron, positive charged proton and charge neutral neutron. But as time passes by we have started to observe many physical phenomenon that can’t be explained by the “Atomic theory of matter” like the formation of atomic nucleus, radioactivity of heavy elements like uranium, thorium and plutonium etc.

But the main objection to this theory is the existence of "Nucleus" itself. As, we have observed that similar charges strongly repel each other, hence the protons inside the nucleus must repel each other and they should readily disintegrate. But, amazingly we have found that not only atomic nucleus is stable, but a fair amount of extra energy must be supplied if we want to disintegrate a heavy nucleus. It indicates that, there must be atleast one more kind of fundamental force other than Gravity and Electro magnetic force that binds the protons and neutrons together to form a nucleus of an atom.

While investigating about the unknown force that keeps nucleons ie. protons and neutrons together, they found that the force is a very strong force but significant only at very very short distance. The force has been termed as "Strong Nuclear Force."

Standard Model of Particle Physics

This is the current accepted model of sub-atomic structure and the fundamental forces exist in the Universe.

Our familiar Universe that we used to observe in our surroundings is completely made of Energy in different forms.

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