Difference between proton and positron

Key difference - proton vs. positron

Atoms are the building blocks of all matter. An atom consists of a nucleus and a cloud of electrons. The nucleus contains protons and neutrons along with some other particles such as alpha particles and beta particles . A proton is a subatomic particle with a positive electrical charge (+1). A positron is also a positively charged subatomic particle. The main difference between a proton and a positron is that the mass of a proton is significantly higher than that of a positron.

Key areas covered

1. What is a proton - definition, properties 2. What is a positron - definition, annihilation 3. What are the similarities between proton and positron - overview of common features 4. What is the difference between proton and positron - comparing the main differences

Key terms: annihilation, anti-electron, atomic mass, atomic number, atoms, beta decay, electron, positrons, protons

Difference Between Proton and Positron - Comparative Summary

What is a proton?

A proton is a subatomic particle with a positive electrical charge of +1. A proton is symbolized by “p” or “p + ”. Together with neutrons, protons form the atomic nucleus, the nucleus of an atom. The electrical charge of a proton is +1.6022 x 10 -19 C (Coulomb). The atomic charge of a proton is given as +1. The mass of a proton is 1.6726 x 10 -24 g. But the atomic mass of a proton is given as 1.0073 amu (atomic mass units). This is commonly used as 1 amu. But the mass of a proton is slightly less than that of a neutron.

The atomic number , ie the number of protons in the atomic nucleus of a chemical element, is a unique property for each element. This is because a chemical element is recognized by its atomic number. The atomic number is the total number of protons present in an atom. The periodic table of the elements is based on the atomic numbers of the chemical elements. Therefore, the periodic table consists of chemical elements arranged in the ascending order of the protons present in their atoms.

Every single atom consists of at least one proton. The smallest neutral atom is a hydrogen atom. It has a proton. Isotopes of a chemical element are the atoms with the same atomic number (proton number) and a different number of neutrons.

Difference between proton and positron

Figure 1: Protium is an isotope of hydrogen with one proton and one electron

A free proton is stable. A free proton is a proton that is not bound to neutrons or electrons. The free proton does not break or spontaneously transform into other particles. However, it is known that protons are converted to neutrons through a process called electron capture. But this transformation is reversible. Free protons go through this transformation when the required energy is provided.

p + + e - ↔ n + Ve

What is a positron?

Positron is a subatomic particle that is considered an anti-electron. It is the antiparticle of the electron. Therefore the positron has an electrical charge of +1. The mass of the positron corresponds exactly to the mass of an electron; 9.1094 x 10 -28 g. The atomic mass of the positron is 0.00054858 amu. The electric charge is opposite to that of the electron: +1.6022 x 10 -19 C.

Positrons are naturally created through beta (β + ) decay . This form of decay occurs with radioactive isotopes. This positron formation can be either natural or artificial based on the nature of the radioisotope (radioisotope can be either natural or artificial).

Positron annihilation

Key difference - proton vs. positron

Figure 2: Annihilation creates two or more gamma-ray photons

Annihilation is a process in which a positron collides with an electron, creating two or more gamma-ray photons when the collision occurs at low energy.

Similarities Between Proton and Positron

  • Both are subatomic particles.
  • Both have +1 atomic charge.
  • Both have an electrical charge of +1.6022 x 10 -19

Difference between proton and positron

definition

Proton: A proton is a subatomic particle with a positive electrical charge of +1.

Positron: Positron is the antiparticle or antimatter counterpart of the electron.

Dimensions

Proton: The mass of a proton is 1.6726 x 10 -24 g.

Positron: The mass of a positron is 9.1094 x 10 -28 g.

Atomic mass

Proton: The atomic mass of a proton is 1.0073 amu. specified

Positron: The atomic mass of the positron is 0.00054858 amu.

nature

Proton: Protons are the most important subatomic particles that are responsible for the atomic number of a chemical element.

Positron: Positrons are the antiparticles of electrons.

destruction

Proton: Protons are not destroyed.

Positron: positrons are destroyed.

diploma

Although both protons and positrons are positively charged subatomic particles, there are differences between them. The main difference between a proton and a positron is that the mass of a proton (1.6726 x 10 -24 g) is significantly higher than that of a positron (9.1094 x 10 -28 g).

Reference:

1. "Subatomic Particles". Chemistry LibreTexts, Libretexts, July 21, 2016, available here . 2. "Positron". Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, January 24, 2018, available here . 3. "Positron". Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., June 3, 2013, Available here .

Image courtesy:

1. "Protium" by Blacklemon67 in the English Wikipedia - Own work (Original text: I (Blacklemon67 (Talk)) (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia 2. "Mutual Annihilation of a Positron Electron pair" By Manticorp - Own work (CC BY -SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the author: Madhusha

Madhusha is a BSc (Hons) graduate in Biological Sciences and is currently doing her Masters in Industrial and Environmental Chemistry. Her areas of interest for writing and research include biochemistry and environmental chemistry.