In the physical sciences, a particle is a small localized object to which can be ascribed several physical properties such as volume or mass. The word is rather general in meaning, and is refined as needed by various scientific fields. Something that is composed of particles may be referred to as particulate, although this term is generally used to refer to a suspension of unconnected particles, rather than a connected particle aggregation.

Whether objects can be considered particles depends on the scale of the context; if an object's own size is small or negligible, or if geometrical properties and structure are irrelevant, then it can be considered a particle. For example, grains of sand on a beach can be considered particles because the size of one grain of sand (~1 mm) is negligible compared to the beach, and the features of individual grains of sand are usually irrelevant to the problem at hand. However, grains of sand would not be considered particles if compared to buckyballs (~1 nm).

Read more about Particle:  Conceptual Properties, N-body Simulation, Distribution of Particles

Famous quotes containing the word particle:

    Standing on the bare ground,—my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space,—all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part and particle of God.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.
    Henry James (1843–1916)

    The way to learn German, is, to read the same dozen pages over and over a hundred times, till you know every word and particle in them, and can pronounce and repeat them by heart.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)