Question #b0687

1 Answer
Jan 22, 2017

An electron carries one elementary charge of the type we call "negative".


Science cannot explain what constitutes charge, but there is convincing evidence that

  • only two types of charge exist, which we historically call "positive" and "negative"

  • charge is one of many quantities that are "quantized", meaning that the quantity exists only in discrete amounts, with a smallest unit that cannot be divided into smaller portions. This is called the elementary charge.

In SI units, the elementary charge is equal to #1.60xx10^(-19)# coulombs.

Electrons carry one unit of negative charge, while protons carry one unit of positive charge. Extremely precise experiments have been conducted an an attempt to determine whether there is a difference in the amount of charge on a proton and that on an electron, and the answer seems to be no difference at all.