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What makes and gives a proton a postive charge and an electron a negative charge?

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What makes and gives a proton a postive charge and an electron a negative charge?

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G01

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If you are asking why do protons and electrons have charge in the first place, I don't think anyone has an answer to this question. As far as we know, it is just the way nature happens to be.

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malawi_glenn

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thanks for the help! :)

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strangerep

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It's still not clear whether you were asking about the origin of charge itself,What makes and gives a proton a positive charge and an electron a negative charge?

or just why proton is +1 and electron is -1. I'll assume the former, since that

question is more interesting...

All intrinsic properties of elementary particles have their origin in how

they transform under certain symmetry groups. In the case of electromagnetism,

the group is U(1), i.e: multiplication by a phase factor exp(i theta). For this

group, there are 2 inequivalent representations: you can multiply by

exp(i theta), or by its complex conjugate exp(-i theta). Elementary particles

can be classified by how they transform under such symmetry groups, i.e:

the Poincare group of special relativity, and certain internal symmetry

groups - of which electromagnetic U(1) is just one. The number of different

inequivalent representations of these groups determines how many different

charges there are. In the case of U(1), there are two inequivalent

representations as I mentioned above, and this manifests in nature as

two different electric charges.

The question of whether all this is genuinely "explanatory" or merely

"descriptive" is debatable - but I still think it's interesting, and the whole

group theoretic approach to elementary particles has been stunningly

successful over the past 50-60 years.

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