1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Existence of the proton necessitate the existence of the electron?

  1. Jul 3, 2009 #1
    Does the existance of the proton neccessitate the existance of the electron? I think it is strange that the number of electrons is exactly equal to the number of protons at every event level of the universe.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2009 #2
    Re: Protons

    i think so. right now im leraning about protons and elctrons and stuff, and my teacher told me that there are the same number of protons as elctrons and stuff, so i think your right. :)
  4. Jul 4, 2009 #3
    Re: Protons

    Suppose in the beginning, all matter were neutral; only neutrons (or antineutrons). But sooner or later, after a very large time-dilated natural decay of them, we had equal numbers of both protons AND electrons, just as a natural result of radioactive decay.
  5. Jul 4, 2009 #4
    Re: Protons

    If the positive and negative charges were not in equal numbers, then the strong Coulomb force would run the extra charges away (and very quickly!) so after some time the remaining matter would be neutral.
  6. Jul 5, 2009 #5
    Re: Protons

    This notion that there are somehow equal numbers of these particles in existence is not correct. Protons and electrons are constantly being created and annihilated throughout the universe in unrelated processes, and due to the relativity of simultaneity, you can't count them at any one instant.
  7. Jul 5, 2009 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Re: Protons

    If a specific piece of matter is electrically neutral, then there must be the same number of electrons and neutrons in that particular piece of matter. That is, simply, the definition of "electrically neutral". But it does not follow that there must be the same number of electrons and neutrons in the universe. As jdog says, you cannot really even pose the question.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook