But there is another strong type of force. Atoms of distinct elements have distinct nuclei having many + charged protons kept tightly together. So since like charges strongly repell, something must stabilize each such nucleus from blasting apart. Neutrons accomplish this by the "nuclear force". This lets over a hundred different proton numbered elements exist, many required for our existance as many varied Biochemical molecules' based life forms.
Each element has its nucleus composed of + charged protons, and neutrons (no charge), with electrons (charged -) essentially orbiting the atomic nucleus. (Taking from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ for "quark"), quarks are elementary particles which combine to form composite particles called hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and neutrons.
Due to a phenomenon known as color confinement, quarks are never directly observed or found in isolation; they can only be found within hadrons. For this reason, much of what is known about quarks came from observations of the hadrons themselves. A proton hadron has 2 up & 1 down quarks: charged +2/3+2/3 & -1/3 = +1. A neutron hadron has 1 up & 2 down quarks: charged +2/3 & -1/3-1/3 = 0.
There are six types of quarks, known as flavors: up, down, strange, charm, bottom, and top. Up and down quarks have the lowest masses of all quarks. The heavier quarks rapidly change into up and down quarks through a process of particle decay: the transformation from a higher mass state to a lower mass state. Because of this, up and down quarks are generally stable and the most common in the universe, whereas strange, charm, top, and bottom quarks can only be produced in high energy collisions (such as those involving cosmic rays or produced in particle accelerators).
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