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Charge quantized

  1. Jul 6, 2007 #1
    When I first study the chapter Charge, I was told that charges are quantized, that is, you can't find a charge of like 6.2e or 1/3e.

    But later, when I got into the quantum theory, I was told that there are quarks, which have charges like +2/3e or -1/3e.

    Don't these two statements contradict?

    How can we explain this contradiction?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 6, 2007 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    No, the two statements do not contradict one another. Any particle has a charge of an integer multiple of e. Particles, like the proton for example, are made up of a quarks, the sum of the charges of which will always equal an integer multiple of e-- in the case of a proton, +e.
  4. Jul 6, 2007 #3
    I would like to add here that electric charges in the macroscopic world develop only due to exchange of electrons/protons. Though protons are made of quarks, these quarks never roam about freely to create any sort of charge or current in a body. So, we only consider the charge on an electron or a proton while studying electrostatics and electrodynamics, which ,as you know, always remains constant.

    Mr V
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