Why do electrons have a negative charge?
I know they DO have a negative charge, and positrons have a positive charge... But what IS a charge, and why do electrons have a negative charge? Please help clarify.
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Electrons belong to a class of particles called leptons. As far as we currently know, electrons have no substructure.
For example, protons have a +1 charge because they consist of 3 quarks; two with a charge of +(2/3) and one with a charge of -(1/3). But then the question follows; why do quarks have a charge? We can't divide the electron into anything!
Directly from Wikipedia:
"A possible explanation lies in the formation of virtual photons in the electric field generated by the electron. The continual creation and absorption of these photons causes the electron to move about in a jittery fashion. As photons possess angular momentum, this jittering of the electron causes a net precession, which, on average, results in a circulatory motion of the mass and charge."
Pretty much saying that even though the electron is treated as a point particle, when it absorbs and radiates the virtual photons it "spins". This movement causes the charge to arise. I guess that is one thought, but I don't think anyone knows for certain WHY they have a charge.
I'm marking this question though incase someone does.Source(s): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron
- Anonymous5 years ago
The reason electrons have negative charges is because when the universe commenced, things just happened that way. Then man discovered them and described that charge by calling it negative. To know why electrons came about, you'd have to know where the universe came from or how it started. I don't think anyone has figured that out yet (lots of theories though). As the answerer above states, your question is more philisophical than scientific. p.s. if you figure it out, I'm sure a lot of people would be very interested in your results.
- 1 decade ago
don't protons have a positive charge?, but electrons have a charge of -1 to even the charge of the atom and make it neutral. Protons - (+1), Neutrons - (0) Electrons - (-1).
1+0+(-1) equals 0 so the atom has a neutral charge. If it does not have a neutral charge it is an ion.Source(s): Science Class
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- Anonymous6 years ago
If you perceive with an unconventional UVS atomic model, there is a meticulous explanation.
The vortical nucleus model shows that neutron is a subatomic vortical structure that vortically accretes the cyclonic proton as well as an anti-cyclonic electron that is spawned outside the inner hypersphere of the proton. The electron vortically impelled by the neutron is counter charging the proton with its differential rotation, it thus has a -1 e electric charge.
This is unconventional stuff so please take it with a pinch of salt.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
an explanation as to why they have a charge would be hands down the most thorough and informative answer i have ever seen on yahoo.
it would involve complex quantum mechanical concepts and, even more dauntingly, the math that requires them to have the certain charge. if you find the entire answer here on yahoo, please email me so i may gaze upon the genius that is surely the next master of particle physics.
but in short, its just the way the particle interacts with virtual photons it exchanges between another particle. it all has to do with its spin, wave function, etc etc.
- 1 decade ago
electrons are negative, protons are positive, and neutrons are neutral, that's just how it is, there never was a why.