Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Subatomic charged particles

  1. Jul 25, 2006 #1
    I was wondering what causes the charge in the subatomic particles.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Current theory has no explanation for the charges. String theory may give an answer when it ever gets worked out fully.
  4. Jul 30, 2006 #3
    To add to what mathman has explained, charge is basically the coupling constant of electrical interactions. A coupling constant expresses the strength of an interaction.

    See this

    The electrical coupling constant is actually called the "fine structure constant" as is shown in the website. The e is present in it's definition and in high energy physics, the c is equal to 1 (God's units), so only the e "actually matters" in the definition.

  5. Aug 1, 2006 #4

    Meir Achuz

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    There is a principle in Quantum Mechanics called "Local Gauge Invariance".
    Simply put, it means the phase of the wave function is arbitrary at any point in space. It can be shown that LGI can only hold if all particles have a charge (either EM, strong, or weak). The LGI principle, for the first time, answers your profound question. As with any answer, it raises its own questions.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?