# Meet the Quarks

For Students - Assignment - Data - Accelerators & Detectors - Resources

## Explorations: How small is small?

Quarks are among the smallest objects in the universe. Protons and neutrons are bigger; atoms are even bigger. Have you ever seen an atom? Studying these small particles is a real challenge.
1. Make a chart of the smallest things you can see and their sizes. (The kitchen is a good place to look for really small things). Describe how you made your measurements. Does a magnifying glass help you see even smaller things? Does it allow you to see more detail of things you can already see? How about a microscope?

2. Find pictures of small things on the Web. Maybe there are pictures of microscopic organisms or ....

3. Start with a piece of paper 8.5" X 11". Cut it in half and in half again and again until it is too small to cut. How many cuts did you make? It would take 28 cuts to end up with a piece of paper the size of a proton and XX cuts for a quark. Campare their sizes with the objects on your chart.

4. Identify a set of natural objects such as an elephant, a star, a molecule, a heart and arrange them from smallest to biggest. What are the biggest and smallest things you can include?

5. The solar system is too big and the atom and proton too small to make a life-size model, but we can make scale models. If the sun were an apple, what fruit would you choose for the earth and the other planets? How large a room would you need to get the sun and pluto in the same room? Design scale models of an atom and a proton.