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What causes attraction of electrons to nucleus?

  1. Dec 7, 2011 #1
    What causes the attraction between electrons and protons in the nucleus? I've always assumed the attraction and worked from there, but I was curious if anybody knows what the root cause of this attraction is.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2011 #2


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    Gold Member

    You mean beyond charge? Protons are positively charged, electrons negatively charged?

    Is your question more aptly: what causes the charges in subatomic particles?
  4. Dec 7, 2011 #3
    The protons have positive charge, which attract the negatively charged electrons. Essentially, it's an electrical force.
  5. Dec 7, 2011 #4

    Yes, that's my question. What causes the charges?
  6. Dec 7, 2011 #5

    I like Serena

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    Homework Helper

    No one knows.
    We just observed the attraction and thought up the concept of charge and electrical force to model it.
    It turned out to be a good model.
  7. Dec 7, 2011 #6
    Disappointing, maybe, but thanks. I guess that's why chemistry isn't mathematics.
  8. Dec 8, 2011 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    Actually this is more physics than chemistry.
  9. Dec 8, 2011 #8
    Right, physics. I tend to associate atomic theory with chemistry since I learned it in chemistry class, whereas in physics I learned basic mechanics. But thanks for pointing that out.
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