What is bigger a proton or an electron?

In the world of subatomic particles, protons and electrons play fundamental roles. Protons are much larger in size compared to electrons, as protons have a mass that is approximately 1,836 times greater than that of an electron. Despite their size difference, both protons and electrons are crucial components that make up the structure of atoms.

Protons carry a positive electric charge, while electrons carry a negative charge. This charge difference is what creates the electrical attraction that binds protons and electrons together within an atom. When it comes to comparing sizes, protons are significantly larger than electrons, but both particles are essential for the stability and behavior of matter at the atomic level.

When it comes to the fundamental building blocks of matter, there are few particles more important than protons and electrons. These tiny particles play a crucial role in shaping our universe, allowing atoms to form and chemical reactions to occur. But are protons or electrons bigger in size? Let’s delve deeper into the world of particles to find out.

Understanding Protons and Electrons

Before we compare the sizes of protons and electrons, it’s essential to understand what these particles are and how they differ.


Protons are positively charged particles that reside at the nucleus of an atom. They have a relative mass of approximately 1 atomic mass unit (AMU) and a charge of +1e, where “e” represents the elementary charge. The number of protons in an atom determines its atomic number and defines the element itself.


Electrons, on the other hand, are negatively charged particles that orbit around the nucleus. They have an extremely small mass, roughly 1/1836 AMU, and a charge of -1e. Electrons are responsible for forming bonds between atoms, and the arrangement of electrons determines the chemical and physical properties of the element.

Comparing Sizes

When it comes to comparing the sizes of protons and electrons, it’s important to note that the term “size” in this context refers to the spatial distribution of the particle. Unlike physical objects, particles like protons and electrons do not have well-defined boundaries or solid surfaces.

Protons are composed of quarks, which are elementary particles. These quarks are held together by the strong nuclear force. The size of a proton, commonly referred to as its “radius,” is estimated to be around 0.8 femtometers (fm) or 0.0000000000000008 meters.

On the other hand, electrons are considered point-like particles. This means that they don’t have a measurable size in the traditional sense. Electrons are believed to be fundamental particles with no internal structure or size. They are often treated as mathematical points when studying their behavior.

Size Comparison: Summary

In summary, protons have a size or spatial extent, whereas electrons are considered point-like particles without a measurable size. Protons have an estimated radius of about 0.8 femtometers, while electrons are often treated as mathematical points.

It’s important to note that the comparison of sizes between protons and electrons is more about their spatial extent rather than physical dimensions. Both particles play crucial roles in the formation and behavior of matter, despite their size differences.

While protons have a measurable size, electrons are considered to be point-like particles. The size of a proton is estimated to be around 0.8 femtometers, while electrons are believed to have no internal structure or size. However, it’s important to remember that size in the context of particles refers to their spatial distribution rather than physical dimensions.

Understanding the sizes and properties of particles like protons and electrons allows us to grasp the intricate workings of the atomic and molecular world. These particles, despite their differences, contribute to the fascinating complexity of our universe.

A proton is larger than an electron in terms of size, mass, and charge. The differences between these subatomic particles play a crucial role in the structure and behavior of atoms.

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