The baryons are a family of subatomic particles including the proton, the neutron, and a number of unstable, heavier particles. The term "baryon" is derived from the Greek barys, meaning heavy, as they are heavier than the other main groups of particles.
Baryons are strongly interacting fermions, that is, they experience the strong nuclear force and are described by Fermi-Dirac statistics, which apply to all particles obeying the Pauli exclusion principle. This is in contrast to the bosons which do not obey the Exclusion principle.
Baryons, along with mesons, belong to the family of particles known as hadrons, meaning they are composed of quarks. Baryons have three quarks, whereas mesons have a quark and an antiquark and so are bosonic.
In addition to the nucleons (protons and neutrons), other members of the baryon family include the lambda, sigma, delta, xi, and N particles.
See also: Particle physics