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Protons/Neutrons/Electrons in Function to the Atom

  1. Oct 6, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    How many electrons, protons, and neutrons are there in an atom of 162Dy? If the gravitational force suddenly vanished, what would happen within the atom? If the electromagnetic force vanished what would happen? What would happen if the strong nuclear force disappeared?

    2. Relevant equations
    There really aren't any relevant equations as this course is about qualitative phyics, not quantitative.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Since the atomic number of Dy is 66 I believe that means it has 66 protons (and therefor 66 neutrons). To get to this specific isotope, it would have to have 96 electrons, no?

    If gravitational force vanished, wouldn't there be a negligible effect on the atom since the force of gravity is so weak on something of such a small scale.

    I'm not sure what would happen if the electromagnetic force disappeared. That's my main question.

    If strong nuclear force disappeared then the protons and neutrons wouldn't stick together and the nucleus would probably just manifest into nothingness. Correct?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2011 #2
    The atomic mass number (162 for 162Dy) is the total of all protons and neutrons, so you'll want tot ake a look again at the number of neutrons. In an electrically neutral atom, there are the same number of electrons as protons.

    The gravitational force at the atomic scale is virtually nothing. Since protons have positive charge and electrons have negative, what do you think would happen if EM disapperared? As for the strong force, it is also responsible for binding of wuarks into protons and neutrons, so these would dissipate into component quarks as well.
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