Current physics defines charge as what causes electrical effects and electrical effects as caused by charge. This circular definition, that charge is what charged particles have, means that we don’t really understand it In the standard model, charge is a self-evident property, like mass, and the two are considered unrelated.
In contrast, quantum realism aims to derive physics not just describe it, so if mass is a processing overload that repeats, what is charge? An electron as positive quantum processing that repeats endlessly must leave negative processing that never runs, shown as the dotted lines in Figure 4.3. That a quantum network must keep its processing books in order suggests that the charge of an electron is its permanent processing deficit. So instead of an unrelated property, quantum realism suggests that charge is the direct byproduct of matter.
This conception fits the properties of charge. Charge as a processing remainder can be positive or negative as charge is, and opposite processing cancels just as opposite charges do. And since the electron repeatedly restarts, the processing remainder is constant, again as an electron’s charge is. Quantum realism connects mass and charge, with mass the net processing done and charge the net processing undone per cycle. The next chapter covers how charge spreads on the quantum network to cause effects.