The B asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 1 decade ago

Why do we call protons a positive charge and electrons a negative charge?

We already know protons with neutrons attract to electrons, and atoms that lack electrons (positive ions) attract to atoms that have more electrons (negative ions).

Can protons with neutrons (a nuclie) be without ANY electrons? if so we know that it is a '+' .

while electrons on their own with no nuclie are '-' .

Why do we need to call them a positive/negative charge?!@?!?!?!


What is the point of the word 'charge' in electricity?

What is it describing exactly? How does it relate to the plus (+) and minus (-) ???

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    "Charge" is the amount by which a particle couples to the electric field. It is observed that there are two kinds of charge, and like charges repel while opposite charges attract. It is natural mathematically therefore to call one positive and one negative, since (+) multiplied with (-) gives a negative (attractive) force and (+) * (+) or (-) * (-) yields a positive (repelling) force.

    Which kind of charge you call positive and which negative is completely arbitrary, makes no difference, and is set by historical convention. The convention we have chosen, to call electron-like charges negative and proton-like charges positive, is somewhat unfortunate, because we now (as opposed to when the convention was first applied) know that it is the electrons that are mobile and the protons remain fixed.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well I don't know why we call them 'positive' or 'negative', its just a way of distinguishing between two types of charges. Ben Franklin is responsible for coming up with those terms because he was perhaps the only soul in North America at the time who knew that there were 2 types of electrical charges.

    It turns out, we can figure exactly how much charge an object has by knowing how much protons or electrons it has.

    By virtue of something being charged, or having some charge, we know that it will have an electrical field surrounding the charge. Just as a mass will exhibit some gravitational field around it, some charge will exhibit an electric field. Any charge in the vicinity of an electric field will experience a force.

  • 7 years ago

    ..The answer is ....Charge is a fundamental property of matter. to elaborate --any

    particle which has some energy (heat ,vibrational,nuclear etc) will act or be acted

    upon by a electric or magnetic field. That tells u its charged. Why its charged is

    for the kaluza-klien theory to describe...Now, its been observed there are two such

    charged bodies. why 2,because they attract each other their must be some thing

    intrinsically opposite or different about them,what better way than to designate them

    positive or negative. So the answer is ,its convention or ease of use. some say its high and low energy thats not the case,because high energy and low energy suggests there is a difference of quantum (quantity) of energy(also known as the ability to do work).But electrons and protons quantitatively have EQUAL charges quantitatively. thats why the atom is electrically neutral.The difference is in the quality of charge--that is, 2 elecrons will repel each other and so will 2 protons ,but an electron and proton will ATTRACT each other .so they have to be different charges qualitatively.Hound9_4 was quite close to answering that.Sorry I forgot to As of June 2014, we do not know the reason for the origin of most fundamental properties for example mass,charge etc.but we know its there(see a hint of relativity).and by its dual nature,attraction and repulsion, we know its two kinds, the names positive and negative are recognition of its different nature and historical convention

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    something positive is something with a lack of electrons, the positive charge wins!

    It gives somewhat an indication of the atoms charge.

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