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Electron vs. Proton
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The Pauper's Theater
  
Ask Dr. Volt!
 
Befuddled by physics?  Stymied by science?  Then ask Dr. Volt!
 
Dr. Volt, certified Mad Scientist, will take your questions, scrutinize them over a Bunsen burner, and post the answers here!  You can also search the archives for answers to past questions.
 



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Electron vs. Proton


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Kelly B. asks: "Dr. Volt, who would win in a fight? An electron or a proton?"

A very intriguing question, Kelly. Due to their mutual electrostatic attraction it is difficult to imagine an electron and a proton being at odds with one another enough to engage in such rowdy behavior, but we shall try. Electrons are certainly the speedier particles, and due to quantum mechanics their wave functions are often spread out space making them difficult to find. Protons, on the other hand, have mass on their side, being nearly 2000 times more massive than an electron. So who would win? Well, as Rutherford observed when studying atomic structure, when an electron and proton collide the electron, due to its small mass, will be bounced back the direction in which it came, while the proton will experience only a small change in motion. So I think we can safely say that the proton would win, assuming it can sufficiently solve the Schrödinger's equation to find the electron to begin with.

But remember, Kelly, while we here at "Ask Dr. Volt!" indeed dabble in the mad sciences, we do not condone the abuse of any subatomic particle. They have a hard enough time dealing with the ramifications of quantum mechanics without us adding to their troubles.


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--->
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(Line breaks become <br />)
(Name, email & website)
(Allow users to contact you through a message form (your email will not be revealed.)

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