How much heavier is an alpha particle than an electron?

1 Answer
Dec 26, 2016

The alpha particle is 7294 times as massive as an electron.


The mass of an alpha particle is #6.645 xx 10^(-27)# kg, while the mass of an electron is #9.11xx10^(-31)# kg.

As a ratio, this would be

#(6.645 xx 10^(-27))/(9.11xx10^(-31)) = 7294#

Note that you could not solve this by adding together the masses of two protons and two neutrons to get the mass of the alpha, because this would not take into account the binding energy of the particle.

The alpha particle actually has less mass than the components of which it is made! The "missing" mass has been converted into energy.