Question

# A system consists of 55 electrons and 43 protons. (a) Is the total charge of the system positive or negative? Explain. (b) What is the total charge of the system?

Solution

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$\textbf{(a)}$ Electrons have a negative charge and protons have a positive charge but both have the same magnitude of charge. Since the system contains a greater number of electrons than protons, the total charge of the system must be $negative$,

$\textbf{(b)}$ The charge of electron is $-e$ and the charge of proton is $+e$, so the total charge of the system is

$55(-e) + 43(e) = -12e = -12(1.6\times10^{-19}\;\mathrm{C}) = -1.9\times10^{-18}\;\mathrm{C}.$

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