What holds elements together?
The elements (so one atom for each spot on the Periodic Table) are held together by two forces The first has to do with electric charge. Electric charge comes in two varieties: positive and negative. The main carriers of positive charge are protons, while the main carriers of negative charge are electrons. (Within protons and neutrons, the quarks themselves carry charge, but this is only important here in that the net charge of a proton or neutron is equal to the sum of the charges of all its quarks: zero for a neutron, and a small positive amount for a proton.) Every proton carries exactly the same amount of positive charge, and every electron carries a negative charge exactly opposite that of a proton. There are other particles with electric charge, but they tend to live only a very short time before they decay, and so they’re mostly unimportant for atoms. Any particle with an electric charge will exert a force on any other particle with charge. It’s a bit like cliche human romance (