1. What makes protons have positive charge and electrons negative charge? In other words, why is + positive and - negative?

2. ### Related Discussions:

3. Originally Posted by Obviously
What makes protons have positive charge and electrons negative charge? In other words, why is + positive and - negative?
Well protons have 2 up quarks which have +2/3 charge and 1 down quark which have -1/3 charge.

A neutron has 2 down and one up-hence neutral charge.

I don't know why electrons have charge, interesting question

4. Originally Posted by svwillmer
Well protons have 2 up quarks which have +2/3 charge and 1 down quark which have -1/3 charge.

A neutron has 2 down and one up-hence neutral charge.
Why is the quarks charged?

5. Originally Posted by Obviously
Originally Posted by svwillmer
Well protons have 2 up quarks which have +2/3 charge and 1 down quark which have -1/3 charge.

A neutron has 2 down and one up-hence neutral charge.
Why is the quarks charged?
Damn you. LOL!

I have a theory on it but prefer not disclose it, I'll PM you

6. Isn't this kinda more philosophy?

We could switch the names if you want?

7. It is more philosophy. Science doesn't answer the "why" aspect of anything. Merely describes what it IS.

A very simple explanation would be "because". Think about it. Why else would they? It just happens they are composed of quarks or whatever else that give them that charge.

8. Coming to the point....in simple words....I think..the positivity and the negativity has all to do with the electrodes...the Vacuum Tube which was used in the experiment of testing the particles as proton or electron

What u all think?

9. If you have two charged particles (or any objects) there will be a force between them given by:

F = (C1*C2)/ 4*Π*ε*x^2

Where C1, C2 are the respective charges, and ε is the permittivity of the medium between them. It's an application of the inverse square law.

Between the two objects, we have an electric field, which is defined as any region where electrical charge within it will have a force exerted on it.

At different points within the region (field), a charge will have different electric potentials, so between two points you will have a potential difference - otherwise known as voltage.

By labeling particles with this property 'charge', and realizing the basic interactions of it, we can make good use of it, and realize its significance through these applications.

As for taking it any further, charge is just a property of particles, best to leave it at that.

10. I realize that asking "why" was perhaps not the best approach. I should've asked: What causes + and - (positive and negative). What exacly makes them different from eachother?

I presume bit4bit explained it, but I'm not sure I understand. If possible, could you please elaborate bit4bit?

11. Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
It is more philosophy. Science doesn't answer the "why" aspect of anything. Merely describes what it IS.

A very simple explanation would be "because". Think about it. Why else would they? It just happens they are composed of quarks or whatever else that give them that charge.

You're right.

The "why" is only concerned with the "why we perceive a phenomena as so".

Theories of perception actually are a philosophy, unless of course they are mathematically constructed, in which case they would be mathematics, yet clearly a "new" type of mathematics, as there is, according to contemporary belief, no contemporary mathematical theory for perception.

Good observation though.

I guess we could propose how we perceive space-time, do a theory on why we observe, why we perceive, an electron the way we do, and so on and so forth,the actual biological mechanism of our ability to register a quantum also, for instance, but that would be a little beyond the scientific community..........no infrastructure.

Does therefore anyone know the contemporary philosophical view on this issue (of course without having this post moved to philosophy).

12. Hi Obviously,

The assignment of +/- signs to the quantity of charge is a necessary step in understanding experimental observations theoretically.

For example within the domain of an electric field, particle 'A' might move in one particular direction, while particle 'B' will move in the OPPOSITE direction. If they both move with the same acceleration, then they must both have the same sized forces acting on them, and consequently the same amount of charge (providing uniform electrical field, and equivalent positional placement....simplest case scenario). Because the electric field is permanently 'directed' in a particular direction, we just say that particles moving with it will have will have a positive charge, and particles moving against it will have a negative charge.

In fact the direction of an electric field is defined as being 'the direction in which the electric force acts on a positively charged particle'. It is all relative, so really we could have defined it using a negatively charged particle, but obviously we must be consistent.

In the example of the two objects, the equation given describes the magnitude of the force between two particles. If both charges are positive, then thier product will be positive, and so will the force...representing 'repulsion'. If one is negative, and one is positive, we have negative product, hence negative force, representing 'attraction'. (The denominator of the equation will always be positive.)

I think thats the best way to describe it really.

13. Maybe also the question was being asked if the symbols for "positive" and "negative" actually represented something more specific to a proton and electron, structurally?

Was that the question being asked?

Does for instance a proton have anything to do with "addition", and an electron "subtraction"?

Any ideas?

14. Originally Posted by streamSystems
Does for instance a proton have anything to do with "addition", and an electron "subtraction"?
As described above, Yes. It describes the direction of movement within an electric field. Using an imaginary axis, one will move in a positive direction, and another will move in a negative direction. plugging +/- charge values into the equation also makes sense in terms of attraction/repulsion, and is consistent with experiments.

If you mean physically adding particles together, then yes, to get the total charge take the sum of all the component charges.....But don't get mixed up, as I said we could have decided to call negative particles positive (electrons), and positive particles negative (protons). All dependent relationships would then have changed respectively and it wouldn't matter in the least.

They are simply labels.

15. Yes.

I agree.

Maybe though one day our symbols will be more exclusive.

16. Originally Posted by bit4bit
Hi Obviously,

The assignment of +/- signs to the quantity of charge is a necessary step in understanding experimental observations theoretically.

For example within the domain of an electric field, particle 'A' might move in one particular direction, while particle 'B' will move in the OPPOSITE direction. If they both move with the same acceleration, then they must both have the same sized forces acting on them, and consequently the same amount of charge (providing uniform electrical field, and equivalent positional placement....simplest case scenario). Because the electric field is permanently 'directed' in a particular direction, we just say that particles moving with it will have will have a positive charge, and particles moving against it will have a negative charge.

In fact the direction of an electric field is defined as being 'the direction in which the electric force acts on a positively charged particle'. It is all relative, so really we could have defined it using a negatively charged particle, but obviously we must be consistent.

In the example of the two objects, the equation given describes the magnitude of the force between two particles. If both charges are positive, then thier product will be positive, and so will the force...representing 'repulsion'. If one is negative, and one is positive, we have negative product, hence negative force, representing 'attraction'. (The denominator of the equation will always be positive.)

I think thats the best way to describe it really.
Ah, I get it now. Thank you for explaining it to me, bit4bit :wink:

17. Originally Posted by Obviously
What makes protons have positive charge and electrons negative charge? In other words, why is + positive and - negative?
Because Ben Franklin quessed wrong when he decided which way electric current flowed. He assumed electricity flowed from a surplus (+) to a defficiency(-). He took a stab and labeled his batteries such. When the electron was discovered to be the current carrying particle, it was also discovered that the current ran opposite of that which Ben had quessed. By this time however the use of the + and - designations had become too entrenched to change, so the electron was determined to have a negative charge and current flowed from negative to postive. (though in engineering circles they still use "Conventional Current" and say that current runs from postive to negative.)

18. though in engineering circles they still use "Conventional Current" and say that current runs from postive to negative.
Yes, the apparent movement of positive ions from + to -. I find it irritating and it can seriously screw with a pupil’s understanding of the subject initially.

 Bookmarks
##### Bookmarks
 Posting Permissions
 You may not post new threads You may not post replies You may not post attachments You may not edit your posts   BB code is On Smilies are On [IMG] code is On [VIDEO] code is On HTML code is Off Trackbacks are Off Pingbacks are Off Refbacks are On Terms of Use Agreement