Nuclear force is the force that holds the particles of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons, together. It is a fundamental force able to overcome the electric force that would otherwise force the nucleus apart within extremely small distances. Unlike the electrical force, the nuclear force reduces extremely quickly with distance, dropping to zero before it interacts with the atom's own electrons.Continue Reading
Opposite electrical charges attract each other, and like charges repel each other with the electric force. In every element but hydrogen, this force is present within the nucleus. Every element except hydrogen has more than one proton, and each proton has an identical positive charge. This produces an electric force pushing the protons apart. If some force did not counter the electric force, all atomic nuclei would dissipate, leaving hydrogen as the only element in existence.
Nuclear forces also hold neutrons, particles with a similar mass to protons, within the nucleus. Every element but hydrogen has neutrons in its nucleus. The number of neutrons is somewhat variable, with each different number of neutrons in a nucleus representing a different isotope of that element. There are hydrogen isotopes that possess neutrons, but they are much less common than the standard isotope without neutrons. The nuclear force is not always powerful enough to hold certain isotopes together, which results in a radioactive isotope.Learn more about Particle Physics
Large atomic nuclei are unstable because they lose neutrons and protons over time. A nucleus is comprised of uncharged neutrons and positively charged protons that, in large atoms, cannot be stably held together by the strong atomic force.Full Answer >
Cosmic rays are fast-moving elementary particles, such as protons, electrons and atomic nuclei, that strike the Earth from outer space. They travel almost at the speed of light. Scientists believe they originate from supernovas, black holes and quasars.Full Answer >
The three types of subatomic particles are protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons and neutrons live together in the nucleus and are called nucleons. Electrons orbit the nucleus in orbitals.Full Answer >
The three major subatomic particles of an atom are electrons, neutrons and protons, according to Science Daily. Protons and neutrons are made of smaller particles known as quarks. Photons, positrons and neutrinos are made after nuclear fusion occurs in stars.Full Answer >