Welcome to PhysLink.com - Your physics and astronomy online portal. Stay a while! Check out our extensive library of educational and reference materials. Also, check out our fun section!
How come the protons in the nucleus of an atom do not spin around like the electrons do?
Asked by: Stephen DeCamp
If you mean why are all the protons in the middle with the electrons moving around them, the following explanation might help:
The protons and neutrons in the nucleus are made of elementary particles called quarks. Quarks feel a force that electrons do not - the strong nuclear force. It is this force which holds the protons and neutrons together in the nucleus. Electrons do not literally orbit the nucleus as is sometimes depicted. This is just the easiest way to picture it. Really they exist in a sort of cloud around the nucleus.
But perhaps you are talking about the "spin" property of electrons, sometimes pictured as the particle spinning on its own axis. If this is what you are referring to then the answer is that protons (and neutrons) do spin. The property of spin is the same for electrons and for protons. They are both "spin 1/2 particles". This is a property that tells us about the quantum mechanical behaviour of the particle and behaves mathematically in the same way as angular momentum.
Erector 20 Model Set
Today's Price: $39.00
Great Erector starter set that allows you to build 20 cool models. Buy it now! Deal ends at midnight!
Here are our physics & astronomy bestsellers:
Solar Science Kit
Mini Plasma Ball
Deluxe 3D Mirascope
Revolving Multi-Color Fiberoptic Light
Deluxe Water Rocket Set
Magnetic Levitator - Classic
Solar System Planetarium 4M Kit
Ultimate Chemistry Set CHEM C3000 v2.0
Worlds Strongest Magnets
Blue Fiber Optic Light