1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Wikipedia.org -- Protons captured by neutral gas atoms?

  1. Jan 20, 2016 #1
    A quote from wikipedia:

    "At sufficiently low temperatures, free protons will bind to electrons. However, the character of such bound protons does not change, and they remain protons. A fast proton moving through matter will slow by interactions with electrons and nuclei, until it is captured by the electron cloud of an atom. The result is a protonated atom, which is a chemical compound of hydrogen."

    I found the above statement in my quest to answer my question "Can a neutral gas atom attract, or otherwise collect protons?"

    If I read the statement correctly, perhaps under the right conditions, protons could be collected.

    Have I interpreted the statement correctly?

    A sufficiently low temperature might be on the order of ________ degrees K?

    Are the number of the free protons that bind to the electrons a one to one ratio? With just the outer shell? The whole cloud? Or perhaps the number is higher with some other limiting factor?

    Thank you,

    The ever curious Mr Tompkins
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2016 #2


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Everything that leaves the collecting material solid is fine.
    Even on the surface of sun, most protons have an electron.
    Hydrogen in chemical compounds usually shares two electrons with the atom it is bound to, and those bonds happen with the outermost electrons.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook