MadSci Network: Physics

Re: Are the number of positive and negative charges in the universe equal?

Date: Thu Nov 30 03:14:43 2006
Posted By: Bryan Dunne, Instructor, Astronomy, University of Illinois
Area of science: Physics
ID: 1164758756.Ph

As far as we can measure, the Universe is charge-neutral to at least 1 part
in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000.  How do we know this?  Well,
electromagnetism is actually much stronger than gravity (like trillions of
trillions of trillions of times stronger).  That's why your muscles can
lift an object against the gravity of the entire Earth (compared to the
size of the Earth, your muscles are puny!)  So, if there were a significant
charge imbalance in the Universe, its effects would be easily noticeable,
but no non-gravitation forces have been observed in the dynamics of
galaxies or clusters of galaxies.

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