How are subatomic particles classified

What does "subatomic" mean in the Star Trek universe?

The atomic level refers to the Parts of an atom - protons, neutrons, etc. It is the level at which atoms are put together, not the level at which they combine. Subatomic would be the level below - quarks et cetera. What Kes is saying is that she can see BEYOND Quarks in even greater detail.

... Or at least that's probably what the writers do intended - Advances in understanding the sub-nuclear level have led to a separate classification of the particles in this area. So what probably happened here is a misunderstanding by the author about what "subatomic" actually meant.


I had written a whole answer about how naturally Tuvok would be confused because by definition everything , What smaller than an atom would be "subatomic" so the concept of "below" would have no meaning. But I like your answer better. +1

John O.

"Atomic" never refers to protons or neutrons. That would be "subatomic". When we say "atomic bomb" or "atomic energy" we are referring to the fact that these things work at the level of the atom, splitting the atom or transforming it into a new isotope. This use of the word was coined before anyone had even discovered the subatomic particles, before anyone was sure how radioactive elements work.

giacomo casanova


@ JohnO Very good point ... unfortunately only in our real world. My example shows (probably) that this is not necessarily true in the Star Trek world. "Atomic" and "subatomic" can refer to anything there! :] Thanks anyway for a great comment!