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Physics/Regarding Elementary Particles

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Question
Dear Sir,

I had a doubt in elementary particles.

Why electron carries charge? and Is the proton also carries charge? If proton carries charge then how it differ from electron?

Please Clarify me.

Thank you for your valuable time sir.

Regards
Mohammed Tharik F
B.E Aeronautical Enggineering

Answer
Hello:

There is A LOT of material on the web regarding this... however I will attempt to distill it down to the most basic form of what physicists thing currently.  To begin with, it should be noted that the label negative and positive are arbitrary... particles that repel each other are considered the same charge and particles that attract are considered opposite.

In the standard model (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Model), electrons belong to a class of building blocks for the universe known as leptons.  These are fundamental particles that have a very specific way of interacting with other particles.  The current understanding of electrons is that they interact with virtual photons (temporary energy containing particles/waves that don't exist for very long at all).  When an electron interacts with virtual photons (absorbing and emitting them) a 'spin' is generated, resulting in an electric field.  

Protons are quite different, as they are a type of composite particle called a baryon. They are held together by a thing called the strong force, which leptons (like the electron) do not use.  This means protons are not elementary particles; they appear to be comprised of three elementary particles called quarks - specifically two quarks called 'Up' quarks (each carrying +2/3 charge) and one called a 'Down' quark (carrying a -1/3 charge).  The 'spin' for these quarks is weaker than that of the electron, hence resulting in a lower amount of charge.

I hope this helps!

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Dr. Jeffery Raymond

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Materials chemistry. Materials science. Spectroscopy. Polymer science. Physical Chemistry. General Physics. Technical writing. General Applied Mathematics. Nanomaterials. Optoelectronic Behavior. Science Policy.

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Teaching: General Inorganic Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry I & II, Physical Chemistry I, Polymeric Materials, General Physics I, Calculus I & II
My prior experience includes the United States Army and three years as a development chemist in industry. Currently I am the Assistant Director of the Laboratory for Synthetic Biological Interactions. All told, 13 years of experience in research, development and science education.

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Texas A&M University, American Chemical Society, POLY-ACS, SPIE

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Journal of the American Chemical Society, Nanoletters, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Ultramicroscopy Proceedings of SPIE, Proceedings of MRS, Polymer News, Chemical and Engineering News, Nano Letters, Small, Chemistry.org, Angewandte

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PhD Macromolecular Science and Engineering (Photophysics/Nanomaterials Concentration), MS Materials Science, BS Chemistry and Physics, Graduate Certificate in Science Policy, AAS Chemical Technology, AAS Engineering Technology

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