What is the Net Force on a Helium Nucleus Due to Proton and Electron Charges?

• Whatupdoc
In summary, the net force exerted on a helium nucleus (charge +2e) at the origin by a proton on the x-axis and an electron on the y-axis is -0.180i*nN + 0.638j*nN, where i and j represent the x and y directions respectively. The values given in the book's solution were in meters, but the given distances of 1.6nm and 0.85nm were converted to mm in the calculation, resulting in smaller values. Using the correct conversion and notation, the net force is 1.8x10^-28 N.
Whatupdoc
A proton is on the x-axis at x= 1.6nm. An electron is on the y-axis at y=0.85nm. Find the net force the two exert on a helium nucleus (charge + 2e) at the orgin.

there's a solution from the book, but i don't really understand it:
k = 9X10^9 N*m^2 and e=1.6*10^-19

Coulomb force of the proton on the helium nucleus is F_pHe = k(e)(2e)(-i)/(1.6mm)^2 = -0.180i*nN (i get 1.8X10^-28 instead)

for the y:
FeHe= k(-e)(2e)(-j)/(.85nm)^2 = 0.638j nN (i get 6.377 X 10^-28)

the answer would be -0.180i*nN + 0.638j nN right? i just don't know why my numbers are so small

Last edited:
Whatupdoc said:
A proton is on the x-axis at x= 1.6nm. An electron is on the y-axis at y=0.85nm.
there's a solution from the book, but i don't really understand it:
k = 9X10^9 N*m^2 and e=1.6*10^-19
Coulomb force of the proton on the helium nucleus is F_pHe = k(e)(2e)(-i)/(1.6mm)^2 = -0.180i*nN (i get 1.8X10^-28 instead)...
i just don't know why my numbers are so small

The distances given was in nm-s (10^-9 m) but you used mm-s (10^-3). or you even have forgotten that 10^-3, too.

ehild

(9X10^9 N*m^2)(1.6*10^-19)(2(1.6*10^-19))(-i)/(1.6mm)^2 = 1.8X10^-28

right? i did use 10^9

no, for the distance you just used 1.6 m .
enter the distance into your calculator as (1.6E-9 [m])^2

and be sure to use the EXP button (or EE button) ,
NOT the ambiguous sequence / 1.6 x 10 ^-9 ^2 !

What is the electric charge of a proton?

The electric charge of a proton is +1.602 x 10^-19 coulombs. This is a fundamental physical constant and is considered a positive charge.

How did scientists discover the electric charge of a proton?

The electric charge of a proton was first discovered by British physicist Ernest Rutherford in 1917 through his famous gold foil experiment. This experiment involved shooting alpha particles at a thin sheet of gold foil and observing the deflection of the particles, which led to the discovery of the positively charged nucleus of an atom.

What is the relationship between the electric charge of a proton and an electron?

The electric charge of a proton is equal in magnitude but opposite in sign to the electric charge of an electron. This means that the electric charge of a proton is +1 and the electric charge of an electron is -1.

What is the significance of the electric charge of a proton in atoms?

The electric charge of a proton is crucial in determining the structure of atoms. Protons are located in the nucleus of an atom and their positive charge attracts the negatively charged electrons, keeping them in orbit around the nucleus. This balance of positive and negative charges is what gives atoms their stability.

Can the electric charge of a proton change?

No, the electric charge of a proton is a constant and cannot be changed. Protons are considered to be fundamental particles, meaning they cannot be broken down into smaller components. Therefore, their electric charge remains constant throughout their existence.

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