What is the difference between protons, neutrons, and electrons?

Main difference – Proton and Neutron vs Electrons

Sub-atomic particles are also known as protons, neutrons and electrons. These are vital components in the construction of an atom. Every atom contains different amounts of protons, neutrons and electrons. This is how atoms retain their uniqueness and identity. They differ in their mass and have different charges. Each sub-atomic particle has a different role. Their charges are the main difference between Proton and Neutron, as well as Electrons. The charges of protons and neutrons differ from electrons. They are positively charged while electrons are negative.

What are Protons?

The nucleus of an atom contains protons, which are also found together with neutrons. Earnest Rutherford discovered the proton. He claimed that the majority of the space in an atom was empty and that the mass was only centered in a small, dense area called the nucleus. Positively charged prototons exist. In this instance, the charge is determined by the electron’s coulombic charges. The proton’s charge is equal to that of an electron. Therefore, 1e can be used. (1e= 1.602 *10^(-19) C). Because of the presence protons, the atomic nucleus is still positively charged.

Protons are heavy and have a mass of 1.672*10(-27). kg Protons are a significant contributor to the mass of an atom, as we have already mentioned. The ‘nucleons’ are protons and neutrons. Each atom contains one or more protons. Each atom has a different number of protons, which forms an atom’s identity. The atomic number for an element is determined by the number of protons when it is grouped in the periodic table.

The symbol for the proton is ‘p.’

What are Neutrons?

As we have already mentioned, neutrons are found in the nucleus together with protons. But neutrons don’t have charged particles. It can therefore share space with protons comfortably without repellence. If neutrons were negatively charged, they would be attracted to protons. However, repellence will occur if they are positively charged. Protons are slightly heavier than neutrons. It is however roughly equal to one atomic mass unit. The atomic mass number is the sum of the number of neutrons and the number of protons. There are two types of neutrons in a nucleus: protons and neutrons. A neutron can be represented by the letter ‘n’. Neutrons are not subject to chemical reactions and are only exposed for nuclear reactions.

What are Electrons

The third sub-atomic particle, electrons, orbit around the nucleus in discrete shells at discrete energy levels. Each electron is negatively charged and carries 1e. The electrons’ weight is so small that it is not considered significant in comparison to neutrons and protons.

The identity of an element is determined by the number and configuration of electrons in its atoms. This is similar to the number protons. Electronic configuration is the way electrons are distributed within the shells of each element. The number of electrons in an element is the same as the number protons. The symbol for electrons is “e”. They are also involved in some nuclear reactions.

Difference Between Proton, Neutron and Electrons


A positively charged sub-atomic particle, proton, is found in an atom.

A neutral sub-atomic particle, called Neutron, is found within an atom.

An electron is a sub-atomic particle that has a negative charge and can be found in an Atom.

The residence within anatom:

The nucleus contains protons; they are part of the group known as nucleons.

The nucleus contains neutrons. They are part of the nucleon group.

In defined energy levels, electrons orbit around the nucleus in atoms.


Positively charged prototons are

Neutrons are neutral.

Negatively charged electrons are


Protons are 1.672 * 10(–27)kg

The weight of neutrons is slightly less than that of protons.

When compared to the neutrons and protons, the electrons’ weight is negligible.


The symbol for protons is ‘p.

Neutrons are represented by the letter ‘n.

The symbol for electrons is ‘e.


Only protons can take part in nuclear reactions.

Only neutrons are exposed to nuclear reactions.

Both chemical and nuclear reactions can be triggered by electrons.

Hope this helps you

Leave a Comment