...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?