Is this how particles interact?

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In summary, alpha particles are two protons and two neutrons. They are important because they are light and when they fuse together, energy is released not consumed.
  • #1
hurricane89
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protons attract electrons,
neutrons are neutral to protons+electrons
antimatter particles attract regular matter

also one more thing, does it take lots of energy to fuse neutrons into an atom nuclei?
 
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  • #2
hurricane89 said:
protons attract electrons,

Electrically yes, because they have opposite charge. But when they get really close to each other, weird things happen. In other words, an electron never spirals into a proton as a comet might fall into the Sun. This is the sort of thing that quantum mechanics deals with.

hurricane89 said:
neutrons are neutral to protons+electrons

Electrically yes. But neutrons are important in the strong force, which holds nuclei together. When neutrons are present, the strong force can overpower the electrical repulsion of protons, or else no elements but Hydrogen would be possible. I don't think you'll ever find a nucleus of just two protons for example.

Oh, and gravitationally, these particles attract each other, but that's typically negligible.

hurricane89 said:
antimatter particles attract regular matter

This is a little ambiguous. An electron and a positron attract each other electrically because they have opposite charge. but a positron is not electrically attracted to a proton because they have the same charge.

However, it's an interesting question to think about how matter and antimatter interact gravitationally. In other words, would antimatter fall up?
 
  • #3
Cantab Morgan said:
Electrically yes. But neutrons are important in the strong force, which holds nuclei together. When neutrons are present, the strong force can overpower the electrical repulsion of protons, or else no elements but Hydrogen would be possible. I don't think you'll ever find a nucleus of just two protons for example.
What would you consider an alpha particle to be? :smile:

Oops: alpha particles are two protons and two neutrons; my mistake!
 
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  • #4
hurricane89 said:
also one more thing, does it take lots of energy to fuse neutrons into an atom nuclei?

I'm not sure I quite understand your question, but here goes...

When light nuclei fuse together, energy is released not consumed. For example, inside a star, Hydrogen and Helium will fuse together into heavier elements. In older stars, where the very lightest nuclei have been used up, other nuclei like Carbon will also fuse. This kind of fusion releases energy, and it's why stars shine.

But to fuse heavy nuclei together, you have to put energy in. For example, nature makes gold and silver out of lighter nuclei using the tremendous energy produced in a supernova explosion. Without such an energy source, heavier atoms would never be found. This has profound implications. Before the first supernova, a planet like the Earth rich in elements, could not have existed.

If I recall correctly the threshold between light and heavy in this context is Iron. Nuclei lighter than Iron can fuse release energy, and nuclei heavier than Iron require energy to be fused together.
 

1. What are particles?

Particles are tiny units of matter that make up everything in the universe. They can be atoms, molecules, or subatomic particles such as protons, neutrons, and electrons.

2. How do particles interact?

Particles interact through four fundamental forces: gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear force, and weak nuclear force. These forces determine how particles attract or repel each other and how they behave in different situations.

3. Can particles interact without touching?

Yes, particles can interact without touching each other. This is because particles have an electric charge that can attract or repel other particles without physical contact. The strength of this interaction depends on the distance between the particles.

4. What is the role of particles in chemical reactions?

Particles play a crucial role in chemical reactions as they are the building blocks of all substances. During a chemical reaction, particles rearrange and form new substances by breaking and forming bonds between atoms and molecules.

5. How do scientists study particle interactions?

Scientists study particle interactions through various methods, including particle accelerators, particle detectors, and theoretical models. These tools allow them to observe and measure the behavior of particles and understand how they interact with each other.

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