Saturday, January 20, 2007


Protons are positively charged atoms that reside in the nucleus of an atom. These protons add the overall positive charge of a molecule. The mass of the proton is about 1,840 times the mass of the electron.

Through scientific discovery, protons have been accepted as the atom that contributes to the positive charge of an atom.

The discovery of protons can be attributed to Rutherford. Given the recent discoveries of electrons in 1897 by Thomson, Rutherford and other scientists decided that a positively charged atom must exist to center the electron to create equally neutral atoms.

Therefore, Rutherford conducted an experiment that concluded the existence of protons. Rutherford first started by changing an atom into another element by striking it with energetic alpha rays (helium nuclei). Rutherford tested this concept many times, changing one atom into another element.

A connection between the helium nuclei was made, in that something within the nuclei had to have a positive charge. Rutherford then extracted the mathematical representation from the helium nuclei for a proton. A helium nucleus is literally a proton.

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