Each element that exists within the periodic table is made up of protons , neutrons, and electrons. Protons and electrons are charged particles , but neutrons have no charge . The charge of a proton and an electron are equal in magnitude , but have opposite signs . We say that protons are positively charged and electrons are negatively charged. Together, the protons, neutrons, and electrons make up the mass of the element , which is also called an atom.. These subatomic particles are very small and cannot be seen with the human eye and in this case we will refer to the protons of the atom .


What are protons?

Protons are subatomic particles that have a positive electric charge which is found within the nucleus of the atomic that the atoms have and which is indicated in the periodic table of elements.

  • Characteristics of protons
  • What is it for
  • History
  • Who discovered them
  • Where they are
  • Training
  • Load
  • Dough
  • Movement
  • How to calculate the number of protons
  • Examples
  • Importance

Characteristics of protons

The main characteristics that we can observe in protons are the following:

  • The proton is made up of three quarks , which are subparticles of it.
  • The proton has a positive charge and its charge is 1.6 x 10-19C.
  • They are concentrated in the nucleus of the atom along with the neutron.
  • They are surrounded by electrons and neutrons in an atom, that is, in the electrosphere.
  • A proton is about 100,000 times smaller than a whole atom.
  • When the proton is not attached to the electron, it is known as a free proton .
  • It has a half-life half- life of about 1035 years.
  • The proton plus the neutron, when together, are known as nucleons .

What is it for

Protons are the particles that serve to make up the main components that an atom has . The number of protons along with other elements are responsible for providing information about the internal part of an atom.


The history of the proton begins with Ernest Rutherford in 1918. Rutherford discovered that by firing alpha particles at nitrogen gas, his detectors show signs of hydrogen nuclei . He determined that the only place these nuclei could come from was nitrogen and therefore nitrogen must contain hydrogen nuclei. Previously, Eugene Goldstein observed cathode rays composed of positively charged ions and suggested that the atom being electrically neutral, it must contain positive particles.. Goldstein used channel rays to create the charge / mass ratio. What he thought were protons turned out to be positive ions.

Who discovered them

Ernest Rutherford in 1918

Where they are

They are located in the center of the atom and are part of the nucleus.


Protons are made up of two up quarks and one down quark . These up quarks have a +2/3 electric charge . The down quark has a -1/3 electric charge  Each proton is also formed by a cluster of three quarks which are linked by gluons, which are the particles in which the strong nuclear interaction resides.


Protons have a final elemental electric charge of +1 . In other words, 1,602 × 10–19 Coulomb.


The mass of a proton is almost one GeV , in other words its mass is about 1,836 times the mass of an electron .


They have the ability to travel at very high speeds when they are in a chemical reaction and their motion can be measured in units of time called attoseconds that represent one trillionth of a second . Many scientists consider that protons being particles that have mass must comply with the laws of mechanics and even mention that protons are capable of slowing down, even slowing down.

How to calculate the number of protons

The number of protons that we find in an atom is identified in the atomic number of the element. When we refer to two atoms of the same element, we must know that they will always have the same atomic number so they will also have the same number of protons . In a periodic table the atomic number is placed above the symbol that the element has, in the upper left corner . This is the number that indicates the number of protons that an atom of an element has.


Some examples of protons in elements are:

  • Calcium: has a total of 20 protons
  • Potassium: with a total of 19.
  • Nickel: a total of 28 protons
  • Fluorine: has a total of 9 .
  • Oxygen: they have a total of 8 .


The importance of protons is that they are one of the fundamental parts that an atom has . Without them, a proper electrical balance could not be achieved within the existing particles. They are considered by scientists as the fundamental part in the construction of the entire universe due to their properties.

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