Question Video: Understanding Positrons

The electric charge of an electron is −1.6 × 10⁻¹⁹ coulombs. What is the electric charge of a positron, in coulombs?

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Video Transcript

The electric charge of an electron is negative 1.6 times 10 to the power of negative 19 coulombs. What is the electric charge of a positron in coulombs?

Okay, so, in this question, we’ve been given the electric charge on an electron. And to answer this question, we need to remember that the positron is the antiparticle of the electron. So, what do we mean by the word antiparticle? This big word over here.

Well, we can recall that a particle’s antiparticles has the same mass as the particle and the same magnitude, or size, of electric charge. However, the sign on the electric charge is the opposite. And so, this is giving us the information that we need.

We’ve been told in the question that the electron has a charge of negative 1.6 times 10 to the power of negative 19 coulombs. And since we know that the positron is the antiparticle of the electron, the positron will have the same magnitude charge, in other words, 1.6 times 10 to the power of negative 19 coulombs, but the sign will be opposite. It will not be negative, but rather it’ll be positive in this case.

Therefore, we can say that the charge on a positron is positive 1.6 times 10 to the power of negative 19 coulombs. But since it’s positively charged, we don’t always need to include the positive sign. And so, our final answer is that the electric charge of a positron in coulombs is 1.6 times 10 to the power of negative 19 coulombs.

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