The Standard Model of Particle Physics predicts the existence of 17 elementary particles.
Basically they are the “bricks” that make up matter. Fermions are particles that have a quantum property called spin (a kind of quantum angular momentum) of semi – integer modulus (½), being described by the Pauli Exclusion principle . In other words, two fermions at the same energy level cannot have the same quantum numbers or occupy the same position in space at the same time .
The “lighter” (less massive) fermions are called leptons (Greek: “light”), and the heavier ones, such as protons, neutrons and atoms, formed by states of quarks bound by the strong interaction , are called hadrons (Greek for “strong”). Trios of quarks are called baryons (protons and neutrons), and pairs of quarks are called mesons .
Bosons are the particles responsible for the interaction between fermions. Unlike them, these particles have no problem occupying the same place in space at the same time . They have integer spin , have no mass and can have an electrical charge . Bosons are the gluons, photons, W and Z bosons, and the Higgs boson. Each of them is responsible for the mediation of a type of force of nature. Photons, for example, are responsible for electromagnetic interaction. Due to its properties, it is possible for a beam of light to pass through another without any collision between them.
Gluons, in turn, are the mediators of the strong interaction , which holds quarks together, forming mesons and baryons. The W and Z bosons are responsible for the electroweak force , common in beta decays . The Higgs boson, in turn, is the particle responsible for attributing mass to fermions.