The proton is the postively charged component in an atom. Its charge is +1.6*10-19 C (charge is measured in coulombs) and its mass is 1.673*10-27 kg. Protons are found in the nucleus, along with neutrons, in an atom. The protons and neutrons give the atom its weight.

History of Protons

The proton was not actually discovered by one person, but is accredited to Ernest Rutherford because he classified it first. The proton was stumbled upon by a series of discoveries by Rutherford, James Chadwick, and J.J. Thomson. Thomson discovered the electron in 1897, Rutherford discovered the nucleus in 1911, and Chadwick discovered the neutron in 1932. These three discoveries alone made the physicists realized that there had to be a positively charged component to an atom, to make the atom neutral. (

Application of Protons

On the periodic table protons are called the atomic number of an element. The number of protons actually tell the element. The proton pump is a molecule in the stomach that makes its contents more acidic, by increasing hydrogen ions. Proton pump inhibitors are medications used to shut down the pump, which will prevent and decrease the effects of heartburn, ulcers, and indigestion.
external image atom.jpg


  1. Beiser, A. (1988). Physical Science (2nd Edition). New York, NY: McGraw Hill
  2. [[ |www.whodiscovered]]
  3. (Ref #3 - from book, library, journal)
  5. This WikiPage developed by (Charita Miller - 2011SU)