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A proton is an elementary particle, which is included in the nucleus of an atom of a chemical element. The proton is also the nucleus of the atom of the lightest isotope of hydrogen – protium. The mass of this particle is approximately 1836 times the rest mass of an electron. The term "proton" in the early 20s of the last century was introduced by the British physicist of New Zealand origin Ernest Rutherford.

Back in 1913, Rutherford made experiments on the interaction of the nuclei of the nitrogen atom and alpha particles. As a result of the experiments, it turned out that during the interaction a kind of particle flies out of the nucleus of the atom. The scientist called it a proton and suggested that it is the nucleus of a hydrogen atom. Subsequently, when using the camera of Wilson, it was proved that it is so.

The number of protons present in the nucleus of an atom of a chemical element is taken to be equal to the atomic number of such an element. This value determines the place that the element occupies in the periodic table. All chemical properties of simple substances and their compounds, which are formed from them, are determined by the number of protons present in the nucleus of an atom.

The electric charge of the proton is considered positive. It is equal in absolute value to the electron charge. The so-called absolute charge of the proton is equal to 1.6 * 10 ^ (- 19) Coulomb. The specific charge of the proton is relatively high.

In science, a classification has been adopted, according to which the proton is a hadron and belongs to the class of so-called heavy particles (baryons). This particle actively participates in strong interactions and in all other fundamental interactions (gravitational, weak, and also in electromagnetic).

In a strong interaction, the neutron and the proton are characterized by the same properties. Therefore, they are considered as different states of a single elementary particle – the nucleon. With the participation of weak interactions in the nuclei of radioactive elements, the proton can be converted into a neutron, a positron and a neutrino. A neutron under certain conditions can turn into a proton.

Protons are stable, so they are used to bombard other particles during nuclear reactions, accelerating to serious speeds beforehand.

The atom of a chemical element contains positively infected particles and particles having a negative charge. But an atom has an equal number of elements of each kind. Therefore, unlike charges neutralize each other.

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