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submitted 5 months ago by netvor@lemmy.world to c/science@lemmy.world

Every time I try to understand how forces which hold atoms and molecules together work, I find myself wanting to ask this question: why not the other way around? Could there be an atom which has electrons and neutrons inside, and protons outside?

It feels like a silly question, but is there something we know about the universe we live in that implies that this is not possible?

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[-] billiam0202@lemmy.world 22 points 5 months ago

ELI5 answer: protons and electrons have equal but opposite electromagnetic charges, but they have other qualities that make them dissimilar- for example, protons have a lot more mass than electrons do. It's those other factors that prevent electrons from clumping in the nucleus.

this post was submitted on 24 Feb 2024
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