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Fractional electric charge?

  1. Jun 25, 2010 #1

    PrincePhoenix

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    According to the third paragraph over here,

    http://www.particleadventure.org/quarks.html

    "Quarks have the unusual characteristic of having a fractional electric charge, unlike the proton and electron, which have integer charges of +1 and -1 respectively."

    What does the fractional electric charge mean? Which units are we talking about?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 25, 2010 #2
    Fractional electric charge mean that the charge is not an integer, i.e. it is not something like 0, +1, -1, +2, -2... but instead something like 1/2 or 2/3.

    In this case the unit is the electric charge of the electron. Most particles have an electric charge which is a multiple of the electron charge. Actually, all detected particles except for the quarks.
    The quarks come in two types, with charge -1/3 and +2/3 and the anti-quarks have a charge of +1/3 and -2/3.
     
  4. Jun 26, 2010 #3

    PrincePhoenix

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    Thanks. That cleared it up.
     
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