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Electric Attractions

  1. May 11, 2009 #1
    I am reading Kenneth W. Ford's book entitled "The Quantum World". On page 22 under the introduction section to Charge, he talks about how charges lead to pairing. In that paragraph he states...

    "The hydrogen atom...consists of an electron and a proton held together by electrical attraction. More energetic particles don't pair up as the result of electrical forces; they merely deviate from a straight path."

    Can someone please explain what Kenneth means by the statement in RED?

    When he talks about "more energetic particles", is talking about atoms with more mass such as such as helium, oxygen, etc. Or is he talking about other heavier fundamental particles (Muons and Tauons)?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2009 #2


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    By more energetic, he means having so much energy that they are not bound, but scatter off each other.
  4. May 11, 2009 #3
    So he is saying other particles that are oppositely charged just scatter off each other? He is talking about other fundamental particles?
  5. May 13, 2009 #4


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    Even particles of opposite charge can scatter if their kinetic energies are too large to get bound.
  6. May 16, 2009 #5
    If two other types of particles are not moving (no kenetic energy), and are oppositely charged, will they also attract like protons and electrons
  7. May 16, 2009 #6
    "More energetic particles" means "particles with a higher momentum". It's similar to things orbiting around the sun. If an object has a velocity that's too high, it'll leave the solar system and never return, but if the velocity's not too high, it'll just orbit around the sun in an ellipse, or possibly a circle. (I'm not saying electrons orbit nuclei like planets -- they don't -- but energy-wise, it's the same idea.)
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