Nuclear and Atomic Physics


Could the Electrostatic Force Play a Role in Holding the Atomic Nucleus Together?

Authors: Peter Horst Rehm

An unheralded property of the electrostatic force is that as the distance between charges approaches zero the force increases exponentially without bound. Applied to the nucleus, if a positive fractional charge in one nucleon can get close enough to a negative fractional charge in a neighboring nucleon, the attractive force between them can overcome the repulsive force among protons. An effective distance of about 5% of the radius of a nucleon corresponds to an attractive force of -25 kN, which is consistent with the nuclear force as previously measured. As positive and negative fractional charges occur in both protons and neutrons, this charge-based attraction can potentially occur in a manner that is independent of the net charge of each nucleon. This form of electrostatic bonding may therefore be a significant factor in the nuclear force and may shed light upon the structure of the nucleons and the atomic nucleus.

Comments: 9 Pages.

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[v1] 2016-09-09 15:51:09

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