Particle is a minute solid material which is formed due to condensation of fine solid mass or breakage of large solid mass into smaller single entities.
Particles are of great importance in our daily life as they are part of many products we use. They are inevitable and are found as the components of pollution like air-borne particles from factories, dust particles or pollen from plants.
These particles are also present in soil and these soil particles decide the type, fertility and also suitability for growth of plants.
All the particles in general have certain properties like electrical, magnetic, chemical and physical characters. Due this they influence the matter they are present in to a large extent.
Particles are classified into different grades based on their particle size. For details on how to measure particle size, read the article Particle size determination methods.
Lets have a glance into all the probable chances of how particles are involved with us in our daily life.
Below is the picture showing micro particles in a bio-glass taken by electron microscope.
Courtesy: A Sampath kumar. 2010, Dept of ceramics, IIT-BHU.
Foods: Tea powder, coffee powder, salt, pickle powders, condiment powders etc. The smaller is the particle size, the finer is the powder.
Beauty & other skin care items: Talcum powders, prickly heat powders, deodorant and other sprays, lotions, gels have particles in them. These particles decide the consistency of the product, their performance or efficiency, ease of application and time of retention on the skin. For example in a tooth paste, the particle size like those of calcium or silica (silodent) particles decide the teeth polishing ability.
Medicine & drug formulations: All the dosage forms like tablets, capsules, solutions, injections, powders etc have medicine or other additives in the form of particles. These particles decide the quantity of the drug in the dose, the stability of the product, its dissolution speed in the body (stomach), the extent of drug absorption into the body and other factors. So particle size is prime importance to a pharmacist.
Nano particles are used for targeted delivery, better absorbtion and also minimize the drug side effects.
Building & other construction material: The particles can also be seen in construction material like sand, ceramics, roof cover like asbestos sheets, glass related items, porcelain etc. The physical properties shape, surface area etc can influence the consistency, durability, cost of the construction etc. For instance sand with fine grade particles is expensive and also gives smooth finish to the walls.
Soil: Particles of soil vary in shape size and other properties. Hence soil can be graded as coarse soil, fine soil, gravel, clay etc. The soil with fine particles is the top most layer and the lower layers of soil have coarser particles.
Electronics: Many components of electronic system like sound systems, memory, circuits have particle in their respective materials they are made of like in magnetic speakers, silica wires etc.
Analytical techniques: Many analytical techniques like HPLC, thin layer chromatography etc have particles in their stationary phase. The efficiency of analysis in these techniques depends on the particle size.
House hold material: Particles are present in most material of home like in kitchen for example water filters, utensils made of porcelain etc, in the making of ceramic tiles, glasses for windows etc.