Nuclear and Atomic Physics


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

Authors: Peter Horst Rehm

It is well known that the electrostatic force has infinite range, but an unheralded property of this force is that as the distance between charges approaches zero the force increases without bound. Applied to the atomic nucleus, if a positive fractional charge in one nucleon (proton or neutron) can get close enough to a negative fractional charge in a neighboring nucleon, the attractive force between them would bind these nucleons in an electrostatic bond. For example, at a distance of 5% of a nucleon radius they will experience an attractive force of -25 kN. This is orders of magnitude stronger than the repulsive force between whole protons in the nucleus. Contrary to what is normally expected from the electrostatic force, such a bond would have a short range, shorter than the radius of a nucleon. Ironically, this charge-based bond would match the nuclear force’s characteristic of charge independence (affecting both neutrons and protons), because the required positive and negative fractional charges occur inside both neutrons and protons. This electrostatic bonding of fractional charges may therefore be an overlooked factor in the search for understanding the nuclear force and may shed light upon the structure of the nucleons and the atomic nucleus.

Comments: 12 Pages.

Download: PDF

Submission history

[v1] 2016-09-09 15:51:09
[v2] 2018-01-27 23:29:31

Unique-IP document downloads: 64 times is a pre-print repository rather than a journal. Articles hosted may not yet have been verified by peer-review and should be treated as preliminary. In particular, anything that appears to include financial or legal advice or proposed medical treatments should be treated with due caution. will not be responsible for any consequences of actions that result from any form of use of any documents on this website.

Add your own feedback and questions here:
You are equally welcome to be positive or negative about any paper but please be polite. If you are being critical you must mention at least one specific error, otherwise your comment will be deleted as unhelpful.

comments powered by Disqus