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!

Is the electrical charge of atomic particles correlated with mass?

  1. Feb 22, 2013 #1
    Hello world.

    I've been studying up on the fundamentals of electronics and have started with an abstract on atomic particles.

    My understanding is Electrons have a lighter mass and have a negative charge, Protons have a heavier mass and have a positive charge. Neutrons have a mass greater than both and is neutrally charged.

    My question then is does the mass of each particle have an effect on the charge of the particles? Lighter particles holding a negative charge and heavier particles holding a positive charge?

    Im conceptualising it as almost a kind of a band of electromagnetic force (? some kind of force), where the electrical charge is defined within the band by the mass of the particle.

    Also how exactly are Neutrons and Protons bound? I understand the concept of orbiting electrons because of a lighter mass, but why doesn't the Proton and Electron bond?

    Despite the fact that they may have different masses they have opposite charges which would attract them.

    Wouldn't it make more sense for say, a theoretical Proton/Electron bonded nucleus to have orbiting neutrons? That the only force (Gravity?) dictating the Neutron to orbit would be the mass of the object, which is what we see in solar systems and celestial bodies.

    I get the feeling this answer is going to involve a ton of theory on sub-atomic physics, so go easy on me! I did calculus and physics in high school almost a decade ago!

    I know these questions seem basic and abstract, any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Hey cooksta and welcome to the forums.

    You might want to look at the connection between energy and mass and study the interaction mechanisms between collisions, decay mechanisms, and other similar scenarios (like other interactions).

    When you consider how the interaction takes place, what things are conserved, and what properties of the physical decomposition (and re-composition) take place (i.e. a decay, transition to new particle, decomposition into different particles, etc) then you will have a much better idea to try and answer your question.

    I can't give you a straight answer to your question, but you will need to study a lot of atomic and sub-atomic physics to get real specific answers.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook