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What gives the charge of particle?

  1. Nov 11, 2013 #1
    why some particles like proton and electron have positive and nagetive charge while neutron and neutrino are electrically neutral??
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 11, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Charge is a fundamental property of certain particles. There is no underlying reason why these charges exist. We simply observe that they do.

    Also, protons and neutrons are made up of quarks. Up quarks have +2/3 charge, while down quarks have -1/3 charge. Since protons have 2 up quarks and 1 down quark they have +1 charge. Neutrons have two down quarks and one up quark, leading to no net charge. Electrons and neutrinos are fundamental particles and simply have -1 and zero charge respectively.
  4. Nov 11, 2013 #3
    but we can say same thing for mass but we can find higgs mechanism by raising this type of question why some particle have mass and other are massless.and since wimps are electrically neutral we can understand their nature by charge giving mechanism and so nature of dark matter.
  5. Nov 11, 2013 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    The higgs mechanism does not explain why particles have the masses they have, it only explains how it works. Much like electromagnetism explains how charges interact but not why each particle has the charge that it has.
  6. Nov 11, 2013 #5


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    Just so you know, a "proton" and a "neutron" are not elementary particles, while electron and neutrino are. So there is a "reason" why proton and neutron have the charges (or lack of charges) that they do (quark content). But then, you can always ask why the quarks have those charges, very much like the electron and neutrino.

    The short answer is, we do not know. The Standard Model of elementary particles currently does not have an origin or a mechanism for the origin of charges, the same way it doesn't explain the origin of spins quantum number. There are many things in our universe in which the quantities have no underlying or more fundamental explanation (speed of light, fine structure constants, etc.. etc.).

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