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The Proton

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the growing understanding of the Proton, found in the nuclei of all elements and, with three quarks, balancing the charge of a single electron.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the discovery and growing understanding of the Proton, formed from three quarks close to the Big Bang and found in the nuclei of all elements. The positive charges they emit means they attract the fundamental particles of negatively charged electrons, an attraction that leads to the creation of atoms which in turn leads to chemistry, biology and life itself. The Sun (in common with other stars) is a fusion engine that turn protons by a series of processes into helium, emitting energy in the process, with about half of the Sun's protons captured so far. Hydrogen atoms, stripped of electrons, are single protons which can be accelerated to smash other nuclei and have applications in proton therapy. Many questions remain, such as why are electrical charges for protons and electrons so perfectly balanced?

With

Frank Close
Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Oxford

Helen Heath
Reader in Physics at the University of Bristol

And

Simon Jolly
Lecturer in High Energy Physics at University College London

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 26 Apr 2018 21:30

LINKS AND FURTHER READING

Frank Close at the University of Oxford

Helen Heath at the University of Bristol

Simon Jolly at University College London

‘The Scattering of α and β Particles by Matter and the Structure of the Atom’ by Ernest Rutherford - Philosophical Magazine, 1911

‘The Structure of the Atom’ by Ernest Rutherford - Philosophical Magazine, 1914

Proton – Wikipedia

 

READING LIST:

Jon Butterworth, A Map of the Invisible: Journeys into Particle Physics (William Heinemann, 2017)

Frank Close, The New Cosmic Onion: Quarks and the Nature of the Universe (CRC Press, 2017)

Frank Close, The Infinity Puzzle: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe (Basic Books, 2013)

Frank Close, Michael Marten and Christine Sutton, The Particle Odyssey: A Journey to the Heart of Matter (Oxford University Press, 2004)

Richard Feynman, Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher (first published 1994; Basic Books, 2011)

George Gamow, Mr Tompkins in Paperback (first published 1946; Cambridge University Press, 1993)

James Gleick, Genius: Richard Feynman and Modern Physics (Abacus, 1994)

Gavin Hesketh, The Particle Zoo: The Search for the Fundamental Nature of Reality (Quercus, 2017)

Chad Orzel: How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog (Oneworld Publications, 2010)

Jim Ottaviani, Feynman (First Second, 2013)

Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis, Suspended in Language: Niels Bohr’s Life, Discoveries, and the Century he Shaped (G.T. Labs, 2009)

Anton Radevsky and Emma Sanders, The Large Hadron Collider Pop-Up Book: Voyage to the Heart of Matter (Papadakis, 2013 - intended for children)

Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe (first published 1977; Basic Books, 1993)

 

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Frank Close
Interviewed Guest Helen Heath
Interviewed Guest Simon Jolly
Producer Simon Tillotson

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