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Can the nucleus of an atom have an overall “neutral charge”

  1. Nov 20, 2005 #1
    Can the nucleus of an atom have an overall “neutral charge” if there happens to be more neutrons in the nucleus than protons?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2005 #2
    Neutrons do not have electric charge and a nucleus consists out of both neutrons and protons, so the answer to your question is a simple NO

  4. Nov 21, 2005 #3
    CAn i actually have someone answer the question who knows what they are talking about :)
  5. Nov 21, 2005 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Maybe if you tell us what you mean by "overall neutral charge" someone can give you an answer. Marlon and I interpret it to mean "zero net electric charge." All nuclei contain protons, so they all have a positive net electric charge.
  6. Nov 22, 2005 #5
    well I can make one for you, all you have to do is make a choice ...and i 'll let you know the ingredients:

    so 1. Nucleus with absolute zero charge.......or
    2. Nucleus with relative zero charge
    There you go Sir, now how may i help you
  7. Nov 22, 2005 #6
    what i mean is even though the neutron inside the nuclues of an atom is said to have no charge, it is still energy nontheless. Its not like it doesn't have any affect on the environment. so considering that it is still a energy just a like proton i am defining that energy that it gives off as "neutral." so if there are more neutrons in the nucleus of an atom does it have a more "neutral charge" than positive. I know current science says the only charge the nuclues can have is positive but that seems inconsistent because it makes it seem as if there is no difference between a nucleus with more protons than nuetrons and vice versa. Thats basically my jist.
  8. Nov 22, 2005 #7
    What do you mean by "effect on the environment"
    Could you clarify this, please ?

    But, you cannot do this since "neutral" applies to charge which is an intrinsic property of particles , of a totally different nature. This is just like
    defining to number 25 "as being red" .

    A nucleus with 10 protons and 5 neutrons will interact in the same way, with an electron for example, as a nucleus with 10 protons and 10 neutrons, when you consider the EM-interaction. Only the amount of charge being present determines the strength of the EM-interaction. in QED, electric charge is the coupling constant of this interaction, so...WHAT IS YOUR POINT ?

    Clearly, you are confusing semantics here and misusing vocabularium.

  9. Nov 23, 2005 #8


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    Splendid containment marlon! I congratulate you!!!
  10. Dec 9, 2005 #9
    ok thanx marlon maybe its just my lack of understanding concering this subject but i don't understand how a nucleus with more neutrons than protons or more protons than neutrons or an equal number of each can still interact with an electron the exact same way. can u explain this? as far as i know the charge of an atom depends on the amount of protons, electrons, and neutrons within the nucleas on an atom so how can neutrons not have an effect on the EM interaction. if thats true thats means that neutrons have no purpose which doesn't make sense to me.
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