Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Basic question about velocities of particles

  1. Aug 7, 2008 #1
    Are there any particles (atomic, subatomic) that on average travel very slowly? As in, why is it that photons, electrons, etc. seem to (almost always) travel at speeds close to c (or at c in the case of a photon in a vacuum)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Relative to what? All motion is relative to some given frame. A particle that is moving slowly relative to one frame may be moving rapidly relative to another. And what reason do you have for saying that electrons, etc. move "close to c". (Photons, of course, necessarily move at c.)
  4. Aug 7, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    The slow neutrons that take part in nuclear fission travel relatively slowly.
    Electrons in light atoms also travel relatively slowly.
    Conduction electrons in a wire travel relatively slowly.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook