# Proton/Electron Charge: Questions & Answers

• Jorjy
In summary, the relationship between the charge of a proton and an electron is that they are equal but the reason for this equality is still not fully understood. The charges are balanced due to the nature of quark charges and their roles in allowing for neutral atoms to exist and for objects as large as people to exist. This also aids in the convergence of quantum field theory.

#### Jorjy

I have some questions about the relationship between the charge of a proton and an electron.

Is it well understood why the charges are equal?
I understand that the quarks that make up a proton each have (+/-)1/3 charge, but I am curious why the charges balance out the way they do.

Is the charge of a positron exactly the same as a proton's charge?
How is it that different particles have the size type of charge?

Thanks.

The reason for the equality is still an open question to some extent.
BUT, we could not exist if they were not equal. There would be no neutral atoms.
Coulomb repulsion would not permit objects as large as people to exist.
AND, the equality and the quark charges aid convergence of QFT (not as important).

There is a long ongoing discussion in this forum on this subject (I started it it).

## 1. What is the charge of a proton?

The charge of a proton is positive, with a magnitude of +1.6 x 10^-19 coulombs. This is considered the fundamental unit of positive charge in an atom.

## 2. How does the charge of a proton compare to the charge of an electron?

The charge of a proton is equal in magnitude but opposite in sign to the charge of an electron. This means that while a proton has a positive charge, an electron has a negative charge of -1.6 x 10^-19 coulombs.

## 3. Can the charge of a proton or electron change?

The charge of a proton and electron are considered constant and cannot be changed. However, through certain processes such as particle collisions, they can be transferred between particles.

## 4. What is the charge of a neutral atom?

A neutral atom has an equal number of protons and electrons, giving it a net charge of 0. This means that the positive charge of the protons is balanced by the negative charge of the electrons.

## 5. How is the charge of a proton or electron measured?

The charge of a proton or electron is measured in coulombs (C). This unit is derived from the fundamental unit of charge, the coulomb, and is used to measure the amount of electric charge present in a system.