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B Charge is Quantized, so why...

  1. Sep 3, 2016 #1
    So why do Quarks have fractional non-discrete charge? Wouldn't it just be easier to just define ##\frac{1}{3}e## as +e and vice versa to preserve the discreetness of what we define as e?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2016 #2


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    Gold Member

    "e" was defined long before quarks were dreamed of.
  4. Sep 3, 2016 #3
    Maybe so, but it still doesn't make sense why e wasn't just redefined. I don't get how we can say e is discrete, but continuous for elementary particles.
  5. Sep 3, 2016 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    It is still discrete. It comes only in integer multiples of 1/3 e
  6. Sep 3, 2016 #5
    That is what I was assuming was the answer, but wasn't sure. Thanks.

    Any idea why they just didn't make the fractional charge the base constant?
  7. Sep 3, 2016 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    As @phinds said, when e was discovered quarks were unknown. Redefining it later would have been inconvenient.
  8. Sep 3, 2016 #7
    Got it, thank you.
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