How Are Protons & Electrons Similar?

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Protons and electrons have almost no similarities, besides the fact that they're both involved in the structure of an atom. Discover how some apparent similarities between protons and electrons reveal further differences with help from a science teacher in this free video on protons and electrons.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Steve Jones, and I'm going to explain the similarities between protons and electrons. This will be a very, very short speech because, in fact protons and electrons have practically no similarities at all. The only main similarity is that they're both involved in the structure of an atom but they're in different parts of the atom, they're actually different sizes and have different charges. Although the charge on a proton is 1 and the charge on an electron is 1, unfortunately the electron is minus , the proton is plus 1. In terms of mass they are very, very tiny particles, though that is a similarity, unfortunately the proton is nearly 1800 times as massive as the electron, the electron is a tiny particle, the proton is quite massive in comparison. The proton actually has similarities with the neutron in mass, it's similar to the mass of the neutron, they're both given the mass of 1. So basically what we can see there is that the electron has much smaller mass than the proton, it has a negative charge, not a positive charge, although the charges are the same side, the proton exists in the nucleus only, the electron exists outside the nucleus and cannot exist in the nucleus. But the similarity, and the similarity we have to remember, and the important one is that they're both part of the basis of all materials, they're both part of the atom.

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