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Since we know that like charges repel each other and the protons in the nucleus have equal and like charges, but they are held intogether instead of being repelled. Why?


marked as duplicate by Mithoron, andselisk, Todd Minehardt, Jon Custer, Tyberius Jan 8 at 21:27

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Protons in nucleus no doubt are repelled by each other. But we know that an atom is stable. The reason for this is that the protons and the neutrons(together called nucleons) are attracted to each other by a strong for called nuclear force. This force acts only in the distances of orders of angstrom or picometre. As mentioned earlier, not only protons are attracted by this force but the neutrons too are. If the distance increases this force decreases drastically. Also this force depends on the no of particles. This is the reason why heavier elements have higher n/p ratio.

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    $\begingroup$ What's particularly interesting is that the electrical repulsion between two protons only barely exceeds the attractive (residual) strong nuclear force between them. If the strong nuclear force were a few percent (~2 to 6%) stronger relative to the electromagnetic force, two protons would spontaneously bind to form the diproton, a stable isotope of helium ($\ce{^2_2 He}$). This would have massively altered the course of the evolution of the Universe (completely different big bang and stellar nucleosynthesis). Chemistry could be virtually non-existent! $\endgroup$ – Nicolau Saker Neto Jan 5 at 9:53
  • $\begingroup$ And so would we. $\endgroup$ – Oscar Lanzi Jan 5 at 10:09

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