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Protons are subatomic particles with a positive charge that make up the composition of the atomic nucleus.

In atoms

Atoms are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. The first two make up the nucleus, or core of the atom, with the latter orbiting.

A proton is a positively charged subatomic particle with a mass of approximately 1 AMU, slightly less than a neutron. The atomic number of an atom is based on the number of protons in its nucleus.

In chemistry

Protons are donated to other molecules by compounds known as acids (such as sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, etc), and may be received by compounds known as bases (sodium hydroxide, pyridine, etc). This process of transferring a proton is known as protonation. During protonation, a base will conduct a nucleophilic attack on an acid, pushing electrons away from the proton, and producing the conjugate base of the acid.