# Are there any electrons inside the sun / a star?

Like the question says, are there electrons inside an active star, or has all the matter been so thoroughly ionized / plasmarized that the electrons are long gone? I ask because it would make sense when thinking about the magnetic field of a star; naked protons (neutrons are of no magnetic concern) would create a very one-way magnetic effect when circling inside the star, while protons + electrons would seem to counteract one another, magnetically.

Come to think of it, I guess the same question could be asked for the Earth's liquid core, considering its temperatures...?

Plasma consists of ionised particles. The electrons are not bound to their nuclei and are free to move around within the star.

However, they are not free to leave the star. Without the electrons to maintain a neutral charge, there would be massive electrical repulsion from all the positive protons and helium nuclei, the result would probably be something like the formation of a black hole larger than the observable universe... The "What if", blog considered something like this in Proton Earth, electron moon and concluded that it would be one of very few things that could actually destroy the universe.

In conclusion, the sun contains about $10^{57}$ electrons. One for every proton.

• I don't know if I am allowed to use a comment to show gratitude, but thank you for that excellent answer, and the bonus of an actual number! – Henry Stone Apr 23 '16 at 18:09

Yes, there are electrons inside stars, they have not gone anywhere.

I must say your new theory of electromagnetic force does not make any sense to me, but there are actually a few cases where electrons "disappears" from a star:

First off, the nuclear fusion of 4 hydrogen atoms into one helium atom actually consumes electrons. Let us count the particles before and after:

Before:

• 4 electrons -4
• 4 protons +4

After:

• 2 electrons -2
• 2 protons +2
• 2 neutrons 0

Please note that the overall charge has not changed, and can not possibly do that by any means. The charge is always preserved.

The other way electrons can disappear from a star is through the formation of a neutron star. There, the particles has are pressed together so strongly that the protons and electrons have merged into neutrons. Note how the charge is preserved here too.