Is a Neutron Positive or Negative Charge?


Atoms are made up of three components – electrons, protons and neutrons. In an atomic shell, the outermost region is occupied by electrons and the innermost region is occupied by protons and neutrons.

Electrons have a negative charge, but neutrons have no charge and have a mass 1,839 times the mass of the electron. Neutrons and protons together form the nucleus of an atom and are together called nucleons.

Why the Neutron Has no charge?

The neutrons aren’t the smallest part of an atom. Studies conducted at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in the late 1960’s and the early 1970’s showed that neutrons and protons are made up of quarks. Studies by scientists have shown that the charge of quarks makes up the charge of nucleons.

 A proton consists of two Up quarks, with 2/3 positive charge each and one down quark with a negative charge of -1/3 (2/3+2/3+-1/3=1).

A neutron is made up of two Down quarks with a negative 1/3 charge and on up quark with a positive 2/3 charge (-1/3+-1/3+2/3 =0).

The fact that these charges cancel out is why neutrons have a neutral (0) charge.

 Atomic Structure Neutron Charge

An anatomic structure consists of electrons at the outer shell, and protons and electrons at the inner shell. These elements are responsible for the mass and charge of an atom.

Each electron has a negative (-1) and protons have a positive charge (+1), thus balancing each other. Since the negative charge of electrons and a positive charge of protons cancel each other, neutrons have zero (0), or neutral charge.

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