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Thread: to protons emit photons?

  1. #1 to protons emit photons? 
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    It is said that light comes from electrons emitting photons. This is because electrons are electromagnetically active (i.e. they are charged particles). But then protons must be able to emit photons too because they're electromagnetically active too.

    Do they emit photons?


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    Forum Masters Degree SuperNatendo's Avatar
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    Photons interact with electrons not just be emitted from them, but electrons can and do emit photons, but photons are not just emmited from electrons. In fact, photons were formed before atomic particles at the big bang.
    "It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense." - Mark Twain
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  5. #4 Re: to protons emit photons? 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gib65
    It is said that light comes from electrons emitting photons. This is because electrons are electromagnetically active (i.e. they are charged particles). But then protons must be able to emit photons too because they're electromagnetically active too.

    Do they emit photons?
    Of course. In fact, all forces are said to exist via some exchange particle and photons are this exchange particle for the electromagnetic force. Therefore the positive electrical charge can only exert a force on other electrically charged particles through the emmission and absorbtion of photons.

    gravitons are the exchange particle for the gravitational force

    the Z and W bosons are the exchange particles for the Weak nuclear force

    gluons are the basic exchange particle for the strong nuclear force, although sometimes mesons like pions and kaons are also considered to play this role as well.
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  6. #5 Re: to protons emit photons? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by gib65
    It is said that light comes from electrons emitting photons. This is because electrons are electromagnetically active (i.e. they are charged particles). But then protons must be able to emit photons too because they're electromagnetically active too.

    Do they emit photons?
    Of course. In fact, all forces are said to exist via some exchange particle and photons are this exchange particle for the electromagnetic force. Therefore the positive electrical charge can only exert a force on other electrically charged particles through the emmission and absorbtion of photons.

    gravitons are the exchange particle for the gravitational force

    the Z and W bosons are the exchange particles for the Weak nuclear force

    gluons are the basic exchange particle for the strong nuclear force, although sometimes mesons like pions and kaons are also considered to play this role as well.
    Thanks for the answer.

    Now I have a follow up question: would it be fair to say that any particle that is "electromagnetically active" can be sensed? All our senses work on electromagnetism, right? I mean, of course we wouldn't be able to sense them without some kind of advanced measuring technology like an electron microscope, but is this correct in principle?
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  7. #6 Re: to protons emit photons? 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gib65
    Now I have a follow up question: would it be fair to say that any particle that is "electromagnetically active" can be sensed? All our senses work on electromagnetism, right? I mean, of course we wouldn't be able to sense them without some kind of advanced measuring technology like an electron microscope, but is this correct in principle?
    Of course but you must not think that a charged particle like a proton emits photons all the time. It will certainly do so if it is made to accelerate. What the charge particle has all the time is an electromagnetic field which can certainly be detected in a variety of ways.

    Even the magnetic dipole of non-charged particles can be detected and this is how NMR scanners work.

    Not all our senses operate on electromagnetism. Hearing and touch are more mechanical in there operation. And unless you consider chemistry to be electromagnetic (and you certainly could), taste and smell which are based on chemistry, would not be electromagnetic. So only sight is obviously electromagnetic.

    So you are asking if the proton were "big enough" could we see it? Well the proton unlike the electron is not a point particle. It has a size for it is composed of three quarks. But can a question so hypothetical be answered with anything better than a MAYBE?
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  8. #7 Re: to protons emit photons? 
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    Thanks again for your answers, mitchellmckain.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Not all our senses operate on electromagnetism. Hearing and touch are more mechanical in there operation. And unless you consider chemistry to be electromagnetic (and you certainly could), taste and smell which are based on chemistry, would not be electromagnetic. So only sight is obviously electromagnetic.
    Yeah, this is true, but ultimately all these examples boil down to electromagnetism. Mechanical receptors are activated when a force pushes or pulls on them, but this is only possible because electrons are pushed together or pulled by other electrons. They do so via the electromagnetic force. Chemical receptors are activated by chemical reactions, which are only possible due to the electromagnetic force.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    So you are asking if the proton were "big enough" could we see it?
    No, I don't think that question would make much sense. I just wanted to know if they emit photons, and therefore make us sense something (not a single proton but something larger that's composed of protons).
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  9. #8 Re: to protons emit photons? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by gib65
    No, I don't think that question would make much sense. I just wanted to know if they emit photons, and therefore make us sense something (not a single proton but something larger that's composed of protons).
    Well another name for a single proton is hydrogen. With the electron it is an hydrogen atom and without it is an hydrogen ion. You cannot get two protons together without adding some neutrons. So the closest you can get to pure protons would be an ionized hydrogen gas. This can be found in interstellar space but it is usually detected by the light that is given off when it encounters elections.
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