Why do electrons not experience the strong nuclear force?

Why do electrons not feel the strong nuclear force?

The strong nuclear force is only found between the nucleons, ie the neutrons or protons. The electrons and nucleons are not subject to a strong nuclear force.

Heavy atoms have a nucleus size of 7 Fermi. K-shell electrons also share some overlap with the nucleus. The electrons experience only the Coulomb force between electron and nucleus.

Why is this so?

Because of strong nuclear attraction force, it is only between nucleon pairs that are present and not between any other pair charged particles.

Quora users are likely to be familiar with Rutherford’s experiment of scattering alpha particles using a thin gold foil.

Rutherford used Coulomb force to explain his experiments. These calculations were in perfect agreement with the experimental results.

The question is why the strong nuclear force, which is much stronger than the Coulomb force, does not affect scattering.

The short range of nuclear forces is the key to the answer. The range of the nuclear forces is shorter than that of the alpha particle.

If more energetic alpha particles or foils with low atomic numbers elements are used, one begins to notice a deviation from the pure Coulomb force in scattering. This is because the strong nuclear force, which affects scattering, can be used. This is known as anomolous scattering.

Remember that alpha particles are made up of nucleons. The reason that nuclear forces don’t affect electrons is because there isn’t a strong nuclear force between electrons and nucleus. The Coulomb force is the only force.

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