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Attraction - why do electrons and protons attract each other?

  1. Jun 5, 2012 #1
    attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?

    Hi, why does electrons and protons attract each others? This happen with other particles too (photons, neutrino etc..) ?

    thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2012 #2

    phinds

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    Re: attraction

    "WHY" is not a question physics is good for. "HOW" is what physics is good for. The "how" in the case of electron/proton attraction is the photon force carrier.
     
  4. Jun 8, 2012 #3
    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?

    And how does the photons move and propagate if at that level doesn't exist the concept of more energetic charges that go to a lower energetic place?
     
  5. Jun 8, 2012 #4
    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?

    The "why"'s for physics are covered in metaphysics, not physics (specifically Rational Metaphysics).
     
  6. Jun 8, 2012 #5

    phinds

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    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?

    You will have to re-write that sentence in English to get an answer
     
  7. Jun 9, 2012 #6
    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?

    Because they like each other))
     
  8. Jun 9, 2012 #7
    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?

    Because of the way the membranes are coupled!

    But this is at a level that we usually don't need. For most of your physics education, it is not how or why electrons attract protons that you should learn, but how and why this fact produces other phenomenon. But not till the second quarter.
     
  9. Jun 11, 2012 #8
    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?

    You said that electron attraction is due to photon mediate forces, but how do that forces interact?
     
  10. Jun 11, 2012 #9

    phinds

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    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?

    A good question, and beyond my ability to explain.
     
  11. Jun 11, 2012 #10

    mfb

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    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?

    You can describe the interaction between electron and proton with the exchange of virtual photons in quantum electrodynamics (QED). But this will not give you some intuitive way to "understand" the system. You can do the calculations (at least in theory) and get an attractive force as result, but this is a lot of work without an intuitive meaning of the individual parts.
    In addition, even QED cannot explain why protons and electrons have opposite charges. This is just an observation.
     
  12. Jun 11, 2012 #11
    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?

    If photons are related in some way to energy, does that mean that at absolute 0 there will be no interaction between electrons and protons?
     
  13. Jun 11, 2012 #12
    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?


    Suppose you have helium at very close to absolute zero. The electrons and protons in each atom will be interacting. The atoms will interact too, which is why to me it seems impossible to get to absolute zero.

    You could have neutrons, but these decay so you can't get them to absolute zero either.
     
  14. Jun 12, 2012 #13
    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?


    I know neutron are unstable and decay, I also know that apply mainly for unbound neutron, so would it be possible to have say a neutron star, after a huge amount of time reach absolute zero?

    I'm talking if they remain stable, and are allowed to cool for amount of time larger then the current age of the universe, and assuming they won't be heated by ambient radiation. So after the big rip, a lonely neutron star is cooling slowly, and after a googleplex years, how hot would it be? Assuming of course that the great rip doesn't scatter it's constituant neutron apart.

    So, in theory, a neutron star allowed to cool, alone in the universe, say 2 times the mass of the sun, and a time lapse of a googleplex of years. Would it be able to reach absolute zero?
     
  15. Jun 12, 2012 #14

    ZapperZ

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    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?

    This thread is straying very dangerously not only away from the original topic of this thread, but also into a highly speculative discussion. I will remind everyone once again of the PF Rules that you had agreed to, especially our policy on such speculative posts.

    Zz.
     
  16. Jun 12, 2012 #15

    mfb

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    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?

    The force is there at every temperature. A low temperature just means that all electrons are in the ground-state.

    That absolute 0 temperature (in the classical sense) cannot be reached is independent of the electromagnetic interaction.
     
  17. Jun 13, 2012 #16
    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?

    if at 0 K all electrons are in the ground state where will go the electrons of the other levels in an heavy atom (like thallium) ?
     
  18. Jun 13, 2012 #17

    ZapperZ

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    Re: attraction -- why do electrons and protons attract each other?

    The ground state just means that it is the lowest energy state of a system. For an atom, it means that all the possible lowest states that can be occupied are filled. It doesn't mean that all the electrons pile up in the 1s level.

    Zz.
     
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