Proton

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Proton
Quark structure proton.svg
The quark content of a proton. The color assignment of individual quarks is arbitrary, but all three colors must be present. Forces between quarks are mediated by gluons.
Classification Baryon
Composition 2 up quarks (u), 1 down quark (d)
Statistics Fermionic
Interactions Gravity, electromagnetic, weak, strong
Symbol
p
,
p+
,
N+
, 1
1
H+
Antiparticle Antiproton
Theorized William Prout (1815)
DiscoveredObserved as H+ by Eugen Goldstein (1886). Identified in other nuclei (and named) by Ernest Rutherford (1917–1920).
Mass 1.672621898(21)×10−27 kg [1]

938.2720813(58)  MeV/c2 [2]

1.007276466879(91)  u [2]
Mean lifetime > 2.1×1029 years (stable)
Electric charge +1  e
1.6021766208(98)×10−19  C [2]
Charge radius 0.8751(61)  fm [2]
Electric dipole moment < 5.4×10−24 e⋅cm
Electric polarizability 1.20(6)×10−3 fm3
Magnetic moment 1.4106067873(97)×10−26  JT −1 [2]

1.5210322053(46)×10−3  μB [2]

2.7928473508(85)  μN [2]
Magnetic polarizability 1.9(5)×10−4 fm3
Spin 1/2
Isospin 1/2
Parity +1
Condensed I ( J P ) = 1/2(1/2+)

A proton is a subatomic particle, symbol
p
or
p+
, with a positive electric charge of +1e elementary charge and a mass slightly less than that of a neutron. Protons and neutrons, each with masses of approximately one atomic mass unit, are collectively referred to as "nucleons".

Subatomic particle Particle whose size or mass is less than that of the atom, or of which the atom is composed; small quantum particle

In the physical sciences, subatomic particles are particles much smaller than atoms. The two types of subatomic particles are: elementary particles, which according to current theories are not made of other particles; and composite particles. Particle physics and nuclear physics study these particles and how they interact. The idea of a particle underwent serious rethinking when experiments showed that light could behave like a stream of particles as well as exhibiting wave-like properties. This led to the new concept of wave–particle duality to reflect that quantum-scale "particles" behave like both particles and waves. Another new concept, the uncertainty principle, states that some of their properties taken together, such as their simultaneous position and momentum, cannot be measured exactly. In more recent times, wave–particle duality has been shown to apply not only to photons but to increasingly massive particles as well.

Electric charge physical property that quantifies an objects interaction with electric fields

Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field. There are two-types of electric charges; positive and negative. Like charges repel and unlike attract. An object with an absence of net charge is referred to as neutral. Early knowledge of how charged substances interact is now called classical electrodynamics, and is still accurate for problems that do not require consideration of quantum effects.

The elementary charge, usually denoted by e or sometimes qe, is the electric charge carried by a single proton or, equivalently, the magnitude of the electric charge carried by a single electron, which has charge −1 e. This elementary charge is a fundamental physical constant. To avoid confusion over its sign, e is sometimes called the elementary positive charge.

Contents

One or more protons are present in the nucleus of every atom; they are a necessary part of the nucleus. The number of protons in the nucleus is the defining property of an element, and is referred to as the atomic number (represented by the symbol Z). Since each element has a unique number of protons, each element has its own unique atomic number.

Atomic nucleus core of the atom; composed of bound nucleons (protons and neutrons)

The atomic nucleus is the small, dense region consisting of protons and neutrons at the center of an atom, discovered in 1911 by Ernest Rutherford based on the 1909 Geiger–Marsden gold foil experiment. After the discovery of the neutron in 1932, models for a nucleus composed of protons and neutrons were quickly developed by Dmitri Ivanenko and Werner Heisenberg. An atom is composed of a positively-charged nucleus, with a cloud of negatively-charged electrons surrounding it, bound together by electrostatic force. Almost all of the mass of an atom is located in the nucleus, with a very small contribution from the electron cloud. Protons and neutrons are bound together to form a nucleus by the nuclear force.

Atomic number number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom

The atomic number or proton number of a chemical element is the number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom. It is identical to the charge number of the nucleus. The atomic number uniquely identifies a chemical element. In an uncharged atom, the atomic number is also equal to the number of electrons.

Chemical element a species of atoms having the same number of protons in the atomic nucleus

A chemical element is a species of atom having the same number of protons in their atomic nuclei. For example, the atomic number of oxygen is 8, so the element oxygen consists of all atoms which have exactly 8 protons.

The word proton is Greek for "first", and this name was given to the hydrogen nucleus by Ernest Rutherford in 1920. In previous years, Rutherford had discovered that the hydrogen nucleus (known to be the lightest nucleus) could be extracted from the nuclei of nitrogen by atomic collisions. [3] Protons were therefore a candidate to be a fundamental particle, and hence a building block of nitrogen and all other heavier atomic nuclei.

Ernest Rutherford New Zealand-born British chemist and physicist

Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson, HFRSE LLD, was a New Zealand-born British physicist who came to be known as the father of nuclear physics. Encyclopædia Britannica considers him to be the greatest experimentalist since Michael Faraday (1791–1867).

Hydrogen Chemical element with atomic number 1

Hydrogen is a chemical element with symbol H and atomic number 1. With a standard atomic weight of 1.008, hydrogen is the lightest element in the periodic table. Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical substance in the Universe, constituting roughly 75% of all baryonic mass. Non-remnant stars are mainly composed of hydrogen in the plasma state. The most common isotope of hydrogen, termed protium, has one proton and no neutrons.

Nitrogen Chemical element with atomic number 7

Nitrogen is a chemical element with symbol N and atomic number 7. It was first discovered and isolated by Scottish physician Daniel Rutherford in 1772. Although Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Henry Cavendish had independently done so at about the same time, Rutherford is generally accorded the credit because his work was published first. The name nitrogène was suggested by French chemist Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal in 1790, when it was found that nitrogen was present in nitric acid and nitrates. Antoine Lavoisier suggested instead the name azote, from the Greek ἀζωτικός "no life", as it is an asphyxiant gas; this name is instead used in many languages, such as French, Russian, Romanian and Turkish, and appears in the English names of some nitrogen compounds such as hydrazine, azides and azo compounds.

In the modern Standard Model of particle physics, protons are hadrons, and like neutrons, the other nucleon (particles present in atomic nuclei), are composed of three quarks. Although protons were originally considered fundamental or elementary particles, they are now known to be composed of three valence quarks: two up quarks of charge +2/3e and one down quark of charge –1/3e. The rest masses of quarks contribute only about 1% of a proton's mass, however. [4] The remainder of a proton's mass is due to quantum chromodynamics binding energy, which includes the kinetic energy of the quarks and the energy of the gluon fields that bind the quarks together. Because protons are not fundamental particles, they possess a physical size, though not a definite one; the root mean square charge radius of a proton is about 0.84–0.87 fm or 0.84×10−15 to 0.87×10−15  m . [5] [6]

Standard Model theory of particle physics

The Standard Model of particle physics is the theory describing three of the four known fundamental forces in the universe, as well as classifying all known elementary particles. It was developed in stages throughout the latter half of the 20th century, through the work of many scientists around the world, with the current formulation being finalized in the mid-1970s upon experimental confirmation of the existence of quarks. Since then, confirmation of the top quark (1995), the tau neutrino (2000), and the Higgs boson (2012) have added further credence to the Standard Model. In addition, the Standard Model has predicted various properties of weak neutral currents and the W and Z bosons with great accuracy.

Particle physics Branch of physics

Particle physics is a branch of physics that studies the nature of the particles that constitute matter and radiation. Although the word particle can refer to various types of very small objects, particle physics usually investigates the irreducibly smallest detectable particles and the fundamental interactions necessary to explain their behaviour. By our current understanding, these elementary particles are excitations of the quantum fields that also govern their interactions. The currently dominant theory explaining these fundamental particles and fields, along with their dynamics, is called the Standard Model. Thus, modern particle physics generally investigates the Standard Model and its various possible extensions, e.g. to the newest "known" particle, the Higgs boson, or even to the oldest known force field, gravity.

In particle physics, a hadron is a composite particle made of two or more quarks held together by the strong force in a similar way as molecules are held together by the electromagnetic force. Most of the mass of ordinary matter comes from two hadrons, the proton and the neutron.

At sufficiently low temperatures, free protons will bind to electrons. However, the character of such bound protons does not change, and they remain protons. A fast proton moving through matter will slow by interactions with electrons and nuclei, until it is captured by the electron cloud of an atom. The result is a protonated atom, which is a chemical compound of hydrogen. In vacuum, when free electrons are present, a sufficiently slow proton may pick up a single free electron, becoming a neutral hydrogen atom, which is chemically a free radical. Such "free hydrogen atoms" tend to react chemically with many other types of atoms at sufficiently low energies. When free hydrogen atoms react with each other, they form neutral hydrogen molecules (H2), which are the most common molecular component of molecular clouds in interstellar space.

Electron subatomic particle with negative electric charge

The electron is a subatomic particle, symbol
e
or
β
, whose electric charge is negative one elementary charge. Electrons belong to the first generation of the lepton particle family, and are generally thought to be elementary particles because they have no known components or substructure. The electron has a mass that is approximately 1/1836 that of the proton. Quantum mechanical properties of the electron include an intrinsic angular momentum (spin) of a half-integer value, expressed in units of the reduced Planck constant, ħ. As it is a fermion, no two electrons can occupy the same quantum state, in accordance with the Pauli exclusion principle. Like all elementary particles, electrons exhibit properties of both particles and waves: they can collide with other particles and can be diffracted like light. The wave properties of electrons are easier to observe with experiments than those of other particles like neutrons and protons because electrons have a lower mass and hence a longer de Broglie wavelength for a given energy.

Chemical compound Substance composed of multiple elements

A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules composed of atoms from more than one element held together by chemical bonds. A chemical element bonded to an identical chemical element is not a chemical compound since only one element, not two different elements, is involved.

Hydrogen atom atom of element hydrogen

A hydrogen atom is an atom of the chemical element hydrogen. The electrically neutral atom contains a single positively charged proton and a single negatively charged electron bound to the nucleus by the Coulomb force. Atomic hydrogen constitutes about 75% of the baryonic mass of the universe.

Description

Question, Web Fundamentals.svgUnsolved problem in physics:
How do the quarks and gluons carry the spin of protons?
(more unsolved problems in physics)

Protons are spin-½ fermions and are composed of three valence quarks, [7] making them baryons (a sub-type of hadrons). The two up quarks and one down quark of a proton are held together by the strong force, mediated by gluons. [8] :21–22 A modern perspective has a proton composed of the valence quarks (up, up, down), the gluons, and transitory pairs of sea quarks. Protons have a positive charge distribution which decays approximately exponentially, with a mean square radius of about 0.8 fm. [9]

Spin-½ Type of matter

In quantum mechanics, spin is an intrinsic property of all elementary particles. All known fermions, the particles that constitute ordinary matter, have a spin of 1/2. The spin number describes how many symmetrical facets a particle has in one full rotation; a spin of 1/2 means that the particle must be fully rotated twice before it has the same configuration as when it started.

Fermion An elementary particle whose wave function changes when exchanging identical instances in a quantum system

In particle physics, a fermion is a particle that follows Fermi–Dirac statistics. These particles obey the Pauli exclusion principle. Fermions include all quarks and leptons, as well as all composite particles made of an odd number of these, such as all baryons and many atoms and nuclei. Fermions differ from bosons, which obey Bose–Einstein statistics.

Baryon Hadron that is composed of three quarks

In particle physics, a baryon is a type of composite subatomic particle which contains an odd number of valence quarks. Baryons belong to the hadron family of particles, which are the quark-based particles. They are also classified as fermions, i.e., they have half-integer spin.

Protons and neutrons are both nucleons, which may be bound together by the nuclear force to form atomic nuclei. The nucleus of the most common isotope of the hydrogen atom (with the chemical symbol "H") is a lone proton. The nuclei of the heavy hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium contain one proton bound to one and two neutrons, respectively. All other types of atomic nuclei are composed of two or more protons and various numbers of neutrons.

History

The concept of a hydrogen-like particle as a constituent of other atoms was developed over a long period. As early as 1815, William Prout proposed that all atoms are composed of hydrogen atoms (which he called "protyles"), based on a simplistic interpretation of early values of atomic weights (see Prout's hypothesis), which was disproved when more accurate values were measured. [10] :39–42

Ernest Rutherford at the first Solvay Conference, 1911 Rutherford 1911 Solvay.jpg
Ernest Rutherford at the first Solvay Conference, 1911
Proton detected in an isopropanol cloud chamber Proton detected in an isopropanol cloud chamber.jpg
Proton detected in an isopropanol cloud chamber

In 1886, Eugen Goldstein discovered canal rays (also known as anode rays) and showed that they were positively charged particles (ions) produced from gases. However, since particles from different gases had different values of charge-to-mass ratio (e/m), they could not be identified with a single particle, unlike the negative electrons discovered by J. J. Thomson. Wilhelm Wien in 1898 identified the hydrogen ion as particle with highest charge-to-mass ratio in ionized gases. [11]

Following the discovery of the atomic nucleus by Ernest Rutherford in 1911, Antonius van den Broek proposed that the place of each element in the periodic table (its atomic number) is equal to its nuclear charge. This was confirmed experimentally by Henry Moseley in 1913 using X-ray spectra.

In 1917 (in experiments reported in 1919), Rutherford proved that the hydrogen nucleus is present in other nuclei, a result usually described as the discovery of protons. [12] Rutherford had earlier learned to produce hydrogen nuclei as a type of radiation produced as a product of the impact of alpha particles on nitrogen gas, and recognize them by their unique penetration signature in air and their appearance in scintillation detectors. These experiments were begun when Rutherford had noticed that, when alpha particles were shot into air (mostly nitrogen), his scintillation detectors showed the signatures of typical hydrogen nuclei as a product. After experimentation Rutherford traced the reaction to the nitrogen in air, and found that when alphas were produced into pure nitrogen gas, the effect was larger. Rutherford determined that this hydrogen could have come only from the nitrogen, and therefore nitrogen must contain hydrogen nuclei. One hydrogen nucleus was being knocked off by the impact of the alpha particle, producing oxygen-17 in the process. This was the first reported nuclear reaction, 14N + α → 17O + p. (This reaction would later be observed happening directly in a cloud chamber in 1925).

Rutherford knew hydrogen to be the simplest and lightest element and was influenced by Prout's hypothesis that hydrogen was the building block of all elements. Discovery that the hydrogen nucleus is present in all other nuclei as an elementary particle led Rutherford to give the hydrogen nucleus a special name as a particle, since he suspected that hydrogen, the lightest element, contained only one of these particles. He named this new fundamental building block of the nucleus the proton, after the neuter singular of the Greek word for "first", πρῶτον. However, Rutherford also had in mind the word protyle as used by Prout. Rutherford spoke at the British Association for the Advancement of Science at its Cardiff meeting beginning 24 August 1920. [13] Rutherford was asked by Oliver Lodge for a new name for the positive hydrogen nucleus to avoid confusion with the neutral hydrogen atom. He initially suggested both proton and prouton (after Prout). [14] Rutherford later reported that the meeting had accepted his suggestion that the hydrogen nucleus be named the "proton", following Prout's word "protyle". [15] The first use of the word "proton" in the scientific literature appeared in 1920. [16]

Recent research has shown that thunderstorms can produce protons with energies of up to several tens of MeV. [17] [18]

Protons are routinely used for accelerators for proton therapy or various particle physics experiments, with the most powerful example being the Large Hadron Collider.

In a July 2017 paper, researchers measured the mass of a proton to be 1.007276466583+15
−29
  atomic mass units
(the values in parentheses being the statistical and systematic uncertainties, respectively), which is lower than measurements from the CODATA 2014 value by three standard deviations. [19] [20]

Stability

Question, Web Fundamentals.svgUnsolved problem in physics:
Are protons fundamentally stable? Or do they decay with a finite lifetime as predicted by some extensions to the standard model?
(more unsolved problems in physics)

The free proton (a proton not bound to nucleons or electrons) is a stable particle that has not been observed to break down spontaneously to other particles. Free protons are found naturally in a number of situations in which energies or temperatures are high enough to separate them from electrons, for which they have some affinity. Free protons exist in plasmas in which temperatures are too high to allow them to combine with electrons. Free protons of high energy and velocity make up 90% of cosmic rays, which propagate in vacuum for interstellar distances. Free protons are emitted directly from atomic nuclei in some rare types of radioactive decay. Protons also result (along with electrons and antineutrinos) from the radioactive decay of free neutrons, which are unstable.

The spontaneous decay of free protons has never been observed, and protons are therefore considered stable particles according to the Standard Model. However, some grand unified theories (GUTs) of particle physics predict that proton decay should take place with lifetimes between 1031 to 1036 years and experimental searches have established lower bounds on the mean lifetime of a proton for various assumed decay products. [21] [22] [23]

Experiments at the Super-Kamiokande detector in Japan gave lower limits for proton mean lifetime of 6.6×1033 years for decay to an antimuon and a neutral pion, and 8.2×1033 years for decay to a positron and a neutral pion. [24] Another experiment at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory in Canada searched for gamma rays resulting from residual nuclei resulting from the decay of a proton from oxygen-16. This experiment was designed to detect decay to any product, and established a lower limit to a proton lifetime of 2.1×1029 years. [25]

However, protons are known to transform into neutrons through the process of electron capture (also called inverse beta decay). For free protons, this process does not occur spontaneously but only when energy is supplied. The equation is:


p+
+
e

n
+
ν
e

The process is reversible; neutrons can convert back to protons through beta decay, a common form of radioactive decay. In fact, a free neutron decays this way, with a mean lifetime of about 15 minutes.

Quarks and the mass of a proton

In quantum chromodynamics, the modern theory of the nuclear force, most of the mass of protons and neutrons is explained by special relativity. The mass of a proton is about 80–100 times greater than the sum of the rest masses of the quarks that make it up, while the gluons have zero rest mass. The extra energy of the quarks and gluons in a region within a proton, as compared to the rest energy of the quarks alone in the QCD vacuum, accounts for almost 99% of the mass. The rest mass of a proton is, thus, the invariant mass of the system of moving quarks and gluons that make up the particle, and, in such systems, even the energy of massless particles is still measured as part of the rest mass of the system.

Two terms are used in referring to the mass of the quarks that make up protons: current quark mass refers to the mass of a quark by itself, while constituent quark mass refers to the current quark mass plus the mass of the gluon particle field surrounding the quark. [26] :285–286 [27] :150–151 These masses typically have very different values. As noted, most of a proton's mass comes from the gluons that bind the current quarks together, rather than from the quarks themselves. While gluons are inherently massless, they possess energy—to be more specific, quantum chromodynamics binding energy (QCBE)—and it is this that contributes so greatly to the overall mass of protons (see mass in special relativity). A proton has a mass of approximately 938  MeV/c2, of which the rest mass of its three valence quarks contributes only about 9.4 MeV/c2; much of the remainder can be attributed to the gluons' QCBE. [28] [29] [30]

The internal dynamics of protons are complicated, because they are determined by the quarks' exchanging gluons, and interacting with various vacuum condensates. Lattice QCD provides a way of calculating the mass of a proton directly from the theory to any accuracy, in principle. The most recent calculations [31] [32] claim that the mass is determined to better than 4% accuracy, even to 1% accuracy (see Figure S5 in Dürr et al. [32] ). These claims are still controversial, because the calculations cannot yet be done with quarks as light as they are in the real world. This means that the predictions are found by a process of extrapolation, which can introduce systematic errors. [33] It is hard to tell whether these errors are controlled properly, because the quantities that are compared to experiment are the masses of the hadrons, which are known in advance.

These recent calculations are performed by massive supercomputers, and, as noted by Boffi and Pasquini: "a detailed description of the nucleon structure is still missing because ... long-distance behavior requires a nonperturbative and/or numerical treatment..." [34] More conceptual approaches to the structure of protons are: the topological soliton approach originally due to Tony Skyrme and the more accurate AdS/QCD approach that extends it to include a string theory of gluons, [35] various QCD-inspired models like the bag model and the constituent quark model, which were popular in the 1980s, and the SVZ sum rules, which allow for rough approximate mass calculations. [36] These methods do not have the same accuracy as the more brute-force lattice QCD methods, at least not yet.

Charge radius

Question, Web Fundamentals.svgUnsolved problem in physics:
What is the true charge radius of a proton?
(more unsolved problems in physics)

The problem of defining a radius for an atomic nucleus (proton) is similar to the problem of atomic radius, in that neither atoms nor their nuclei have definite boundaries. However, the nucleus can be modeled as a sphere of positive charge for the interpretation of electron scattering experiments: because there is no definite boundary to the nucleus, the electrons "see" a range of cross-sections, for which a mean can be taken. The qualification of "rms" (for "root mean square") arises because it is the nuclear cross-section, proportional to the square of the radius, which is determining for electron scattering.

The internationally accepted value of a proton's charge radius is 0.8768  fm (see orders of magnitude for comparison to other sizes). This value is based on measurements involving a proton and an electron (namely, electron scattering measurements and complex calculation involving scattering cross section based on Rosenbluth equation for momentum-transfer cross section), and studies of the atomic energy levels of hydrogen and deuterium.

However, in 2010 an international research team published a proton charge radius measurement via the Lamb shift in muonic hydrogen (an exotic atom made of a proton and a negatively charged muon). As a muon is 200 times heavier than an electron, its de Broglie wavelength is correspondingly shorter. This smaller atomic orbital is much more sensitive to the proton's charge radius, so allows more precise measurement. Their measurement of the root-mean-square charge radius of a proton is "0.84184(67) fm, which differs by 5.0 standard deviations from the CODATA value of 0.8768(69) fm". [37] In January 2013, an updated value for the charge radius of a proton—0.84087(39) fm—was published. The precision was improved by 1.7 times, increasing the significance of the discrepancy to 7σ. [38] The 2014 CODATA adjustment slightly reduced the recommended value for the proton radius (computed using electron measurements only) to 0.8751(61) fm, but this leaves the discrepancy at 5.6σ.

The international research team that obtained this result at the Paul Scherrer Institut in Villigen includes scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, the Institut für Strahlwerkzeuge of Universität Stuttgart, and the University of Coimbra, Portugal. [39] [40] The team is now attempting to explain the discrepancy, and re-examining the results of both previous high-precision measurements and complex calculations involving scattering cross section. If no errors are found in the measurements or calculations, it could be necessary to re-examine the world's most precise and best-tested fundamental theory: quantum electrodynamics. [39] The proton radius remains a puzzle as of 2017. [41] Perhaps the discrepancy is due to new physics, or the explanation may be an ordinary physics effect that has been missed. [42]

The radius is linked to the form factor and momentum transfer cross section. The atomic form factor G modifies the cross section corresponding to point-like proton.

The atomic form factor is related to the wave function density of the target:

The form factor can be split in electric and magnetic form factors. These can be further written as linear combinations of Dirac and Pauli form factors. [42]

Pressure inside the proton

Since the proton is composed of quarks confined by gluons, an equivalent pressure which acts on the quarks can be defined. This allows calculation of their distribution as a function of distance from the centre using Compton scattering of high-energy electrons (DVCS, for deeply virtual Compton scattering). The pressure is maximum at the centre, about 1035 Pa which is greater than the pressure inside a neutron star. [43] It is positive (repulsive) to a radial distance of about 0.6 fm, negative (attractive) at greater distances, and very weak beyond about 2 fm.

Charge radius in solvated proton, hydronium

The radius of hydrated proton appears in the Born equation for calculating the hydration enthalpy of hydronium.

Interaction of free protons with ordinary matter

Although protons have affinity for oppositely charged electrons, this is a relatively low-energy interaction and so free protons must lose sufficient velocity (and kinetic energy) in order to become closely associated and bound to electrons. High energy protons, in traversing ordinary matter, lose energy by collisions with atomic nuclei, and by ionization of atoms (removing electrons) until they are slowed sufficiently to be captured by the electron cloud in a normal atom.

However, in such an association with an electron, the character of the bound proton is not changed, and it remains a proton. The attraction of low-energy free protons to any electrons present in normal matter (such as the electrons in normal atoms) causes free protons to stop and to form a new chemical bond with an atom. Such a bond happens at any sufficiently "cold" temperature (i.e., comparable to temperatures at the surface of the Sun) and with any type of atom. Thus, in interaction with any type of normal (non-plasma) matter, low-velocity free protons are attracted to electrons in any atom or molecule with which they come in contact, causing the proton and molecule to combine. Such molecules are then said to be "protonated", and chemically they often, as a result, become so-called Brønsted acids.

Proton in chemistry

Atomic number

In chemistry, the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom is known as the atomic number, which determines the chemical element to which the atom belongs. For example, the atomic number of chlorine is 17; this means that each chlorine atom has 17 protons and that all atoms with 17 protons are chlorine atoms. The chemical properties of each atom are determined by the number of (negatively charged) electrons, which for neutral atoms is equal to the number of (positive) protons so that the total charge is zero. For example, a neutral chlorine atom has 17 protons and 17 electrons, whereas a Cl anion has 17 protons and 18 electrons for a total charge of −1.

All atoms of a given element are not necessarily identical, however, as the number of neutrons may vary to form different isotopes, and energy levels may differ forming different nuclear isomers. For example, there are two stable isotopes of chlorine: 35
17
Cl
with 35 − 17 = 18 neutrons and 37
17
Cl
with 37 − 17 = 20 neutrons.

Hydrogen ion

Protium, the most common isotope of hydrogen, consists of one proton and one electron (it has no neutrons). The term "hydrogen ion" (H
) implies that that H-atom has lost its one electron, causing only a proton to remain. Thus, in chemistry, the terms "proton" and "hydrogen ion" (for the protium isotope) are used synonymously Hydrogen.svg
Protium, the most common isotope of hydrogen, consists of one proton and one electron (it has no neutrons). The term "hydrogen ion" (H
) implies that that H-atom has lost its one electron, causing only a proton to remain. Thus, in chemistry, the terms "proton" and "hydrogen ion" (for the protium isotope) are used synonymously
The proton is a unique chemical species, being a bare nucleus. As a consequence it has no independent existence in the condensed state and is invariably found bound by a pair of electrons to another atom.

Ross Stewart, The Proton: Application to Organic Chemistry (1985, p. 1)

In chemistry, the term proton refers to the hydrogen ion, H+
. Since the atomic number of hydrogen is 1, a hydrogen ion has no electrons and corresponds to a bare nucleus, consisting of a proton (and 0 neutrons for the most abundant isotope protium 1
1
H
). The proton is a "bare charge" with only about 1/64,000 of the radius of a hydrogen atom, and so is extremely reactive chemically. The free proton, thus, has an extremely short lifetime in chemical systems such as liquids and it reacts immediately with the electron cloud of any available molecule. In aqueous solution, it forms the hydronium ion, H3O+, which in turn is further solvated by water molecules in clusters such as [H5O2]+ and [H9O4]+. [44]

The transfer of H+
in an acid–base reaction is usually referred to as "proton transfer". The acid is referred to as a proton donor and the base as a proton acceptor. Likewise, biochemical terms such as proton pump and proton channel refer to the movement of hydrated H+
ions.

The ion produced by removing the electron from a deuterium atom is known as a deuteron, not a proton. Likewise, removing an electron from a tritium atom produces a triton.

Proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)

Also in chemistry, the term "proton NMR" refers to the observation of hydrogen-1 nuclei in (mostly organic) molecules by nuclear magnetic resonance. This method uses the spin of the proton, which has the value one-half. The name refers to examination of protons as they occur in protium (hydrogen-1 atoms) in compounds, and does not imply that free protons exist in the compound being studied.

Human exposure

The Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Packages (ALSEP) determined that more than 95% of the particles in the solar wind are electrons and protons, in approximately equal numbers. [45] [46]

Because the Solar Wind Spectrometer made continuous measurements, it was possible to measure how the Earth's magnetic field affects arriving solar wind particles. For about two-thirds of each orbit, the Moon is outside of the Earth's magnetic field. At these times, a typical proton density was 10 to 20 per cubic centimeter, with most protons having velocities between 400 and 650 kilometers per second. For about five days of each month, the Moon is inside the Earth's geomagnetic tail, and typically no solar wind particles were detectable. For the remainder of each lunar orbit, the Moon is in a transitional region known as the magnetosheath, where the Earth's magnetic field affects the solar wind but does not completely exclude it. In this region, the particle flux is reduced, with typical proton velocities of 250 to 450 kilometers per second. During the lunar night, the spectrometer was shielded from the solar wind by the Moon and no solar wind particles were measured. [45]

Protons also have extrasolar origin from galactic cosmic rays, where they make up about 90% of the total particle flux. These protons often have higher energy than solar wind protons, and their intensity is far more uniform and less variable than protons coming from the Sun, the production of which is heavily affected by solar proton events such as coronal mass ejections.

Research has been performed on the dose-rate effects of protons, as typically found in space travel, on human health. [46] [47] To be more specific, there are hopes to identify what specific chromosomes are damaged, and to define the damage, during cancer development from proton exposure. [46] Another study looks into determining "the effects of exposure to proton irradiation on neurochemical and behavioral endpoints, including dopaminergic functioning, amphetamine-induced conditioned taste aversion learning, and spatial learning and memory as measured by the Morris water maze. [47] Electrical charging of a spacecraft due to interplanetary proton bombardment has also been proposed for study. [48] There are many more studies that pertain to space travel, including galactic cosmic rays and their possible health effects, and solar proton event exposure.

The American Biostack and Soviet Biorack space travel experiments have demonstrated the severity of molecular damage induced by heavy ions on micro organisms including Artemia cysts. [49]

Antiproton

CPT-symmetry puts strong constraints on the relative properties of particles and antiparticles and, therefore, is open to stringent tests. For example, the charges of a proton and antiproton must sum to exactly zero. This equality has been tested to one part in 108. The equality of their masses has also been tested to better than one part in 108. By holding antiprotons in a Penning trap, the equality of the charge-to-mass ratio of protons and antiprotons has been tested to one part in 6×109. [50] The magnetic moment of antiprotons has been measured with error of 8×10−3 nuclear Bohr magnetons, and is found to be equal and opposite to that of a proton.

See also

Related Research Articles

Beta decay decay where electrons (β-, beta minus) or positrons (β+, positron emission) are emitted

In nuclear physics, beta decay (β-decay) is a type of radioactive decay in which a beta ray is emitted from an atomic nucleus. For example, beta decay of a neutron transforms it into a proton by the emission of an electron accompanied by an antineutrino, or conversely a proton is converted into a neutron by the emission of a positron with a neutrino, thus changing the nuclide type. Neither the beta particle nor its associated (anti-)neutrino exist within the nucleus prior to beta decay, but are created in the decay process. By this process, unstable atoms obtain a more stable ratio of protons to neutrons. The probability of a nuclide decaying due to beta and other forms of decay is determined by its nuclear binding energy. The binding energies of all existing nuclides form what is called the nuclear band or valley of stability. For either electron or positron emission to be energetically possible, the energy release or Q value must be positive.

Elementary particle Quantum particle having no known substructure

In particle physics, an elementary particle or fundamental particle is a subatomic particle with no sub structure, thus not composed of other particles. Particles currently thought to be elementary include the fundamental fermions, which generally are "matter particles" and "antimatter particles", as well as the fundamental bosons, which generally are "force particles" that mediate interactions among fermions. A particle containing two or more elementary particles is a composite particle.

Muon elementary subatomic particle with negative electric charge

The muon is an elementary particle similar to the electron, with an electric charge of −1 e and a spin of 1/2, but with a much greater mass. It is classified as a lepton. As is the case with other leptons, the muon is not believed to have any sub-structure—that is, it is not thought to be composed of any simpler particles.

Neutron nucleon (constituent of the nucleus of the atom) that has neutral electric charge (no charge); symbol n

The neutron is a subatomic particle, symbol
n
or
n0
, with no net electric charge and a mass slightly larger than that of a proton. Protons and neutrons constitute the nuclei of atoms. Since protons and neutrons behave similarly within the nucleus, and each has a mass of approximately one atomic mass unit, they are both referred to as nucleons. Their properties and interactions are described by nuclear physics.

Nuclear physics field of physics that deals with the structure and behavior of atomic nuclei

Nuclear physics is the field of physics that studies atomic nuclei and their constituents and interactions. Other forms of nuclear matter are also studied. Nuclear physics should not be confused with atomic physics, which studies the atom as a whole, including its electrons.

Nucleon particle that makes up the atomic nucleus (proton or neutron)

In chemistry and physics, a nucleon is either a proton or a neutron, considered in its role as a component of an atomic nucleus. The number of nucleons in a nucleus defines an isotope's mass number.

Strong interaction force between hadrons that remains constant at any distance as the hadrons travel within a nucleus

In particle physics, the strong interaction is the mechanism responsible for the strong nuclear force (also called the strong force, nuclear strong force, or colour force), and is one of the four known fundamental interactions, with the others being electromagnetism, the weak interaction, and gravitation. At the range of 10−15 m (1 femtometer), the strong force is approximately 137 times as strong as electromagnetism, a million times as strong as the weak interaction, and 1038 times as strong as gravitation. The strong nuclear force holds most ordinary matter together because it confines quarks into hadron particles such as the proton and neutron. In addition, the strong force binds neutrons and protons to create atomic nuclei. Most of the mass of a common proton or neutron is the result of the strong force field energy; the individual quarks provide only about 1% of the mass of a proton.

Annihilation quantum field theoretic process of particle–antiparticle annihilation

In particle physics, annihilation is the process that occurs when a subatomic particle collides with its respective antiparticle to produce other particles, such as an electron colliding with a positron to produce two photons. The total energy and momentum of the initial pair are conserved in the process and distributed among a set of other particles in the final state. Antiparticles have exactly opposite additive quantum numbers from particles, so the sums of all quantum numbers of such an original pair are zero. Hence, any set of particles may be produced whose total quantum numbers are also zero as long as conservation of energy and conservation of momentum are obeyed.

Nuclear reaction process in which two nuclei collide to produce one or more nuclides

In nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry, a nuclear reaction is semantically considered to be the process in which two nuclei, or else a nucleus of an atom and a subatomic particle from outside the atom, collide to produce one or more nuclides that are different from the nuclide(s) that began the process. Thus, a nuclear reaction must cause a transformation of at least one nuclide to another. If a nucleus interacts with another nucleus or particle and they then separate without changing the nature of any nuclide, the process is simply referred to as a type of nuclear scattering, rather than a nuclear reaction.

Nuclear force A force that acts between the protons and neutrons of atoms

The nuclear force is a force that acts between the protons and neutrons of atoms. Neutrons and protons, both nucleons, are affected by the nuclear force almost identically. Since protons have charge +1 e, they experience an electric force that tends to push them apart, but at short range the attractive nuclear force is strong enough to overcome the electromagnetic force. The nuclear force binds nucleons into atomic nuclei.

Deep inelastic scattering

Deep inelastic scattering is the name given to a process used to probe the insides of hadrons, using electrons, muons and neutrinos. It provided the first convincing evidence of the reality of quarks, which up until that point had been considered by many to be a purely mathematical phenomenon. It is a relatively new process, first attempted in the 1960s and 1970s. It is an extension of Rutherford scattering to much higher energies of the scattering particle and thus to much finer resolution of the components of the nuclei.

Nuclear binding energy energy required to split a nucleus of an atom into its component parts.

Nuclear binding energy is the minimum energy that would be required to disassemble the nucleus of an atom into its component parts. These component parts are neutrons and protons, which are collectively called nucleons. The binding is always a positive number, as we need to spend energy in moving these nucleons, attracted to each other by the strong nuclear force, away from each other. The mass of an atomic nucleus is less than the sum of the individual masses of the free constituent protons and neutrons, according to Einstein's equation E=mc2. This 'missing mass' is known as the mass defect, and represents the energy that was released when the nucleus was formed.

The neutron magnetic moment is the intrinsic magnetic dipole moment of the neutron, symbol μn. Protons and neutrons, both nucleons, comprise the nucleus of atoms, and both nucleons behave as small magnets whose strengths are measured by their magnetic moments. The neutron interacts with normal matter through either the nuclear force or its magnetic moment. The neutron's magnetic moment is exploited to probe the atomic structure of materials using scattering methods and to manipulate the properties of neutron beams in particle accelerators. The neutron was determined to have a magnetic moment by indirect methods in the mid 1930s. Luis Alvarez and Felix Bloch made the first accurate, direct measurement of the neutron's magnetic moment in 1940. The existence of the neutron's magnetic moment indicates the neutron is not an elementary particle. For an elementary particle to have an intrinsic magnetic moment, it must have both spin and electric charge. The neutron has spin 1/2 ħ, but it has no net charge. The existence of the neutron's magnetic moment was puzzling and defied a correct explanation until the quark model for particles was developed in the 1960s. The neutron is composed of three quarks, and the magnetic moments of these elementary particles combine to give the neutron its magnetic moment.

The rms charge radius is a measure of the size of an atomic nucleus, particularly of a proton or a deuteron. It can be measured by the scattering of electrons by the nucleus and also inferred from the effects of finite nuclear size on electron energy levels as measured in atomic spectra.

Discovery of the neutron

The discovery of the neutron and its properties was central to the extraordinary developments in atomic physics in the first half of the 20th century. Early in the century, Ernest Rutherford developed a crude model of the atom, based on the gold foil experiment of Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden. In this model, atoms had their mass and positive electric charge concentrated in a very small nucleus. By 1920 chemical isotopes had been discovered, the atomic masses had been determined to be (approximately) integer multiples of the mass of the hydrogen atom, and the atomic number had been identified as the charge on the nucleus. Throughout the 1920s, the nucleus was viewed as composed of combinations of protons and electrons, the two elementary particles known at the time, but that model presented several experimental and theoretical contradictions.

Free neutron decay

Outside the nucleus, free neutrons are unstable and have a mean lifetime of 881.5±1.5 s. Therefore, the half-life for this process is 611±1 s. The beta decay of the neutron, described above, can be denoted as follows:

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