Glossary term: Proton

Description: A proton is a subatomic particle with positive electric charge. All the matter that we see around us is made up of atoms, and all atoms have the same basic structure: a tiny, dense nucleus that carries almost all of the atom's mass, surrounded by electrons. The main constituents of atomic nuclei are protons and neutrons. The number of protons is the "atomic number" of a nucleus, and each atom with a specific atomic number corresponds to a specific chemical element. The atomic nucleus of hydrogen is a single proton, and the most elementary nuclear fusion reaction in a star is when two protons collide, one of them decays, and a deuteron is formed, consisting of one proton and one neutron. Protons can also be found in the high-energy cosmic rays reaching us from outer space.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".