Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 9 years ago

are protons and electrons electrical charges? or do protons and electrons HAVE an electrical charge?

i've read them described as both. what i want to try to understand is, is the proton and electron simply an electrical charge, nothing more?

or, are they things in their own right, which have an electrical charge?

to use an analogy. peter can have a cardboard sign with a plus sign written on it. he can give the sign away and still continue to exist himself. he is not an electrical charge; he HAS an electrical charge (well, a sign with a plus sign written on it).

likewise for electrons. if eddie has a sign with a minus sign on it he can give it away and still exist; is this the case for electrons?

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Protons and electrons are things in their own right, albeit really, REALLY small things, which have electrical charges. They can be quantified, measured, detected and observed.

    Protons have a positive charge and electrons have a negative charge. While both are utterly minuscule, the proton (and the electrically-neutral neutron) has about 1800x more mass than the electron. Imagine an atom to be the size of a baseball stadium (or any stadium you like). The nucleus of an atom, which is composed of the electrically-positive protons, and neutral neutrons are densely packed in the center, and would be the size of a fly buzzing around in the middle of the stadium. The electrically-negative electrons are "orbiting" all the way out by the walls of the stadium. As strange as it sounds, atoms are almost entirely empty space! Nevertheless, despite the difference in size between protons and electrons, their charges balance perfectly. An atom with 6 protons and 6 electrons is electrically neutral.

    Source(s): I like chemistry
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Hi cliff

    your analogy is actually off, sorry the atom is inert, as it is in-balance.

    the electrons that are held around a nucleus which is made up of protons.

    valance bonds hold atoms together which means they must have some sort of forces holding like atoms to each other.

    a proton is the same charge as an electron but opposite. the proton is in theory positively charged and the electron is negatively charged. they cancel each other out in effect.

    now adding another electron to an atom does unbalance the atom making it more negative.

    so where did this extra electron come from it was stripped of another atom by a charge of electricity.

    this is where electrical current flow comes from in a circuit.

    why does this happen because some one has found a way to dislodge these electrons from the outer valance bonds of atoms by the introduction of atoms which are actually unstable.

    this is how semiconductors are formed as we see we have negatively charged silicon and positively charged silicon which makes up the simple diode junction. where the two meet there is a depletion zone where the two have recombined, this very thin layer puts up an insulating area to current flow which can only be breach with a voltage of a certain value. in the case of a silicon diode this is 0.6 volts, when connected the right way with positive to the P end and negative to the N end.

    if however you connect this the other way around the insulating layer grows wider making current flow impossible

    till the voltage reaches a certain value and the device breaks down at this point the diode current carriers have gone into avalanche which means in effect it could be destroyed.

    this however is effect is sometimes used in the protection of a special diode called a zener diode which if the current is limit can be used as a voltage control device. so provided the current is controlled the device will not be destroyed.

    sorry if i may have gone off the subject you where asking but it is the best analogy of describing what happens with atoms and electrons in terms that makes sense.

    as it is in the field of electronics where it is most seen apart from Quantum physics.

    Source(s): As an instructor in radio this is how i have to describe what you have asked. i have been doing this for the last 30 years so i have some idea how it works.
  • metz
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Protons and electrons all have mass, fee and intrinsic spin. in case you have been to assert for occasion that a proton is a undeniable fee you have gotten omitted its mass and intrinsic spin. using this it would be extra appropriate grammar to assert a proton has fee. yet do no longer enable grammar dictate the physics.

  • 9 years ago

    protons and electrons are electric charges.

    they will not be protons and electrons without their charges.

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  • 9 years ago

    protons have positive charge

    electrons have a negative charge

    neutrons don't have a charge

  • 9 years ago

    They are charged particles in an atom.

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