What Is the Difference Between Protons and Electrons?
Atoms are the building blocks of life. Within the atom there are protons and electrons. But what exactly are electrons and protons? What is the difference between them? And what are their purposes? Here is everything you need to know:
WHAT IS AN ELECTRON?
Atoms are the basic unit of matter. Atoms are made up of smaller subatomic particles: electrons, protons, and neutrons. Sir Joseph John Tomson discovered the electron in 1897. The electron was the very first subatomic particle in the atom to be identified (1). Electrons are found in all atoms. They are stable subatomic particles that carry a negative electrical charge (2).
WHAT IS A PROTON?
Ernest Rutherford discovered the existence of the proton in 1919 (1). Protons are found in the center of an atom. This center is known as the nucleus. These stable subatomic particles carry a positive electrical charge (3).
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PROTONS AND ELECTRONS?
Within the atom, the positively charged protons attract the negatively charged electrons and help to keep them in orbit. Additionally, protons help bind the atom’s nucleus together. The nucleus consists of positively charged protons and neutral subatomic particles known as neutrons (4). Together, the electron, proton, and neutron make an atom.
In different atoms, there can be a different number of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Here are a few basic rules that explain how the different amounts relate to each other (remember: there are exceptions to the rules) (5):
Here are a few basic rules that explain how the different amounts relate to each other
- The atomic number (Z) is equal to the number of protons in the nucleus.
- In a neutral atom, the number of protons is equal to the number of electrons.
- The mass number of an atom (M) is equal to the sum of the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus.
- The mass number of the atom (M) minus the atomic number (Z) is equal to the number of neutrons.
PROTONS AND ELECTRONS IN THE HUMAN BODY
One purpose of the atom is to carry electrical charges. Electrons act as the primary carrier of electricity in solids (2). Electricity is an essential part of your bodily processes. Your cells are specifically designed to create and conduct electrical currents throughout your body. These electrical currents are used to send messages from your nervous system to your brain and then to your body. For example, if you touch a hot stove, your nervous system registers that it is experiencing pain. Electrical messengers then tell your brain that you are experiencing pain in your hand and should do something about it. Your brain then sends a message to the muscles in your hand and arm to pull away from the hot stove. Electrical currents are essential for how your brain thinks, processes, and functions overall, which then affects how your body moves, reacts, and functions (6).
When your internal electrical currents are disrupted, illness can be the result. For example, your heart relies on electrical currents to pump the heart at the right time and make sure the heartbeat is maintaining a steady rhythm. Doctors use electrocardiograms (ECGs) to observe these electrical pulses. When your heart’s electrical currents are irregular, your heart muscles fail to function correctly, which can lead to a heart attack. Your internal electrical current is vital to your health.
ELECTRICAL CURRENTS AND EMFS
Like your cells, EMFs are also a form of electricity being emitted from a source. When you are exposed to the constant stream of electromagnetic frequencies from your cellphone, laptop, Wi-Fi router, and other modern technological advances, this electricity negatively impacts the electricity within your body.
Did you know that holding your phone to your ear when you talk interferes with the electrical messengers in your brain? By upsetting your internal electrical processes, EMFs can cause a wide range of negative health impacts that impact your memory, brain, and normal bodily processes. Furthermore, some studies have found non-ionizing radiation to cause DNA damage, cell damage, increased free radicals in your body, increased risk of miscarriage, and an adversely affected reproductive system (7)(8)(9)(10)(11).
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM EMFS?
There are a few daily changes that you can make to limit your exposure to EMFs:
- Limit phone time: Instead of sleeping with your phone next to your bed, either put it in another room or put it on airplane mode to reduce EMF exposure while you sleep.
- Avoid Bluetooth: swap out your Bluetooth headphones for corded headphones. Because the frequency of Bluetooth is similar to microwave ovens, having them so close to your head is potentially problematic.
- Limit Wi-Fi exposure: Turn off your Wi-Fi router before bed. This will give you an extra eight to nine hours of EMF-free sleep.
- Spend time in nature: Take a book or your pet to the park, go for a run outdoors, go on a family hike, or simply try to spend a few moments of meditation in your yard every day.
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