The nucleus can be made of a number of different things depending on its purpose. The atomic structure of elements contain nuclei, as do each cell within living things.
A nucleus is a prime structure in both the fields of biology and physics. In terms of biology, it is the center of a cell; in physics, it is the central piece of an atom.
At the center of an atom, a nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons. Known as baryons, protons and electrons are themselves composed of smaller particles called quarks.
The nucleus of atoms are differentiated by the number of protons. For example, hydrogen has one proton, while each successive element on the periodic table of the elements has more.
Within the biological cell, the nucleus contains a liquid known as nucleoplasm as well as a number of organelles. The organelles enable the production of proteins to make the body function.
The major purpose for the nucleus is to operate as the control center of the cell. It contains chromosomes, known as DNA, which are responsible for the genetic identification of lifeforms.
- Photo Credit "Molecule display" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: net_efekt (Christian Guthier) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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