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Protons electrons

  1. Jul 15, 2004 #1
    Protons electrons....

    What prevents electrons and protons from being stuck togeather? how do they just keep flying around the protons and nutrons?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2004 #2


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    The attractive force is what keeps the electrons flying around the nucleus instead of just flying off. This behavior is just the same as the way gravity keeps planets in orbit around a star or the way a slingshot keeps a rock in orbit around the holder's hand. The attractive force provides what is known as a centripetal force, which is responsible for continually changing the direction of the electron, thus keeping it in orbit.
  4. Jul 15, 2004 #3
    ok and is there an equation for finding the strenght of attraction of an electron to a proton?
  5. Jul 15, 2004 #4
    I would look for a definition of coulomb's law...I think this is what you want.

    BTW is this not a rather outdated model of the atom? Shouldn't you be talking about the energy levels of the electron instead?
  6. Jul 21, 2004 #5
    Hook up a rope to a doorknob, keep the other end in your hand. You can now make waves in the rope moving your hand up and down. To make a nice wave, you can go at different speeds, but not ANY speed. Each speed level is an energy level, depending on whether your wave has 1, 2, 3 ... bumps. Now imagine the distance between your hand and the doorknob is the circumference of the electron orbit. As long as the electron (the rope) has energy, it can't fall anywhere.
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