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Why don't protons present in the nucleus of an atom repel each other being likely charged ?


marked as duplicate by hBy2Py, Klaus-Dieter Warzecha, bon, ron, DavePhD Feb 16 '17 at 18:23

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  • $\begingroup$ Why, they surely repel, and that with great force. But they also attract. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Feb 16 '17 at 17:18

The repulsive forces that exist between two like charges (protons here) are called electrostatic forces. These are strong, no doubt, when you consider a mass as small as the nucleus.

However, you are missing one more point here. The repulsive forces between two protons in a nuclei are "overpowered" by the attraction that exists between them due to Nuclear forces. These forces only exist between protons when they are present in the nucleus. FREE protons never attract each other as then nuclear forces do not come into play. These nuclear forces are said to be short range, although there is mo mathematical variation derived yet. Still, short range means they are VERY VERY strong over short distances, typical of the distance between two protons in a nucleus. So repuslive electrostatic forces become insignificant.


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