What is an electron? | Mass and charge of an electron

Every single thing around us has an electron, do you know what is an electron and what is its charge. In chemistry, we get to read about electrons, protons, and neutrons. In nature, every single thing is made up of different elements and each element has an atom that is made up of electrons, protons, and neutrons.

What is an electron
What is an electron

The question must also arise in your mind that what is an electron, what is its charge, when was it discovered, etc. In this article, we will try to answer these same questions. So let's all know what is an electron.

What is an electron?

The electron is a basic subatomic particle with a negative electric charge. It revolves around the nucleus of an atom in orbit. Electron is called ἤλεκτρον in Ancient Greek language and Electron in Latin, English, French, and Spanish, and Elektron in German.

The quantum mechanical properties of the electron include the internal angular momentum (spin) of a half-integer value, expressed in units of low Planck constants. Being a Ferzian, no two electrons can occupy the same quantum state according to the Pauli Exclusion Principle.

Like all elementary particles, electrons exhibit the properties of both particles and waves: they can collide with other particles and can be separated like a light. The wave properties of electrons are easier to observe with experiments than other particles such as neutrons and protons because electrons have a lower mass and therefore have a longer de Broglie wavelength for a given energy.

See Also: What is nuclear energy?

Definition of electron

The electron is a sub-atomic particle with a negative electrical charge. Electrons belong to the first generation of the Lipton particle family and are generally considered primary particles because they have no known component or barrier.

What is an electron shell?

The outer orbit of an atom around the atomic nucleus is called an electron shell. Each shell has one or more subshells, and each subshell has one or more atomic orbitals.

What is an electron orbital?

Electron orbitals are the result of mathematical equations from quantum mechanics known as wave functions and can predict within a certain level of probability where the electron can be at any time. The number and type of orbit increase with the increase in atomic number, filling in different electron shells.

See Also: Periodic classification of element

Mass of Electron

Its mass is a thousand times less than the lightest element hydrogen atom. Traditionally, its charge is considered negative and its value is determined as −1 atomic unit (e). It carries a (-ve) charge of -1.6E-19 Coulomb magnitude. Which is used as the standard unit for sub-atomic particles and it's also called elementary charge. It has a mass of 9.11E − 31 kg or 5.489 × 10−4 atomic mass units (AMU), which is about 1834th of the mass of a proton.

Every Neutral nuclear has the same number of electrons and protons. Their internal structure is not known, so it is often considered a fundamental particle. Their internal rotation is 1/2, so they are firm. The antimatter of electron is called a positron. Apart from mass, all the properties of the positron, such as charge, etc. are completely opposite to the electron. When the electron and the positron collide, both are completely destroyed and two photons are produced.

Properties of Electron

Electrons belong to a group of sub-atomic particles called leptons, which are considered to be fundamental or elementary particles. Electrons have the lowest mass of any charged lepton (or any kind of electrically charged particle) and are the first generation of fundamental particles. All members of the Lipton group are fermions since they all have a half-odd integer spin; the electron has a spin.

Electrons play essential roles in many physical phenomena, such as electricity, magnetism, chemistry, and thermal conductivity, and they also participate in gravity, electromagnetic, and weak interactions. Since an electron has a charge, it has a nearby electric field.

The electromagnetic field produced from other sources will affect the motion of an electron according to Lorentz force law. Electrons radiate or absorb energy in the form of photons as acceleration. Laboratory equipment is capable of trapping individual electrons as well as electron plasma using electromagnetic fields. Specialized telescopes can detect electron plasma in outer space. Electrons are involved in many applications such as electronics, welding, cathode ray tubes, electron microscopes, radiation therapy, lasers, gaseous ionization detectors, and particle accelerators.

The interactions connecting electrons with other subatomic particles are of interest in fields such as chemistry and nuclear physics. The Coulomb force interaction between positive protons within the atomic nucleus and without negative electrons, known as two atoms, allows. Ionization or difference in the ratio of negative electrons versus positive nuclei changes the binding energy of an atomic system. The exchange or sharing of electrons between two or more atoms is the main reason for the chemical relationship.

Discovery of Electron

The discovery of electrons is closely associated with experimental and theoretical research of cathode rays, which have been carried out for decades by many physicists, including Joseph Thomson.

In 1859, studying the electrical conductivity in rare gases, the German physicist Julius Plucker observed that phosphorescent light produced by radiation emanating from the cathode was reflected on the tube near the cathode, which can be moved to the phosphorescent light field by the application of magnetic fields. Then in 1869, Plucker's student Johann Wilhelm Hittorf and in 1876, including the German physicist Eugen Goldstein, further researched it.

During the 1870s, the English chemist and physicist Sir William Crook developed the first high-vacuum cathode-ray tube. During the research, he observed in 1874 that cathode rays could rotate a small paddle wheel when placed in their path. Therefore, he concluded that rays capture momentum. Furthermore, by applying a magnetic field, he was able to deflect the rays, showing that the beam behaved as if it were negatively charged.

From 1874 to 1897, many scientists did a lot of research on this. Some scientists believed that the cathode ray is a wave or atom.

In 1897, the British physicist J. J. Thomson gave his colleagues John S. Townsend and H.A. Experimenting with Wilson indicated that cathode rays were indeed unique particles, not waves, atoms, or molecules as previously believed. Thomson made a good approximation of both charge E and mass m.

They showed that their charge-to-mass ratio, E / M, was independent of cathode content. He further showed that negatively charged particles produced by radioactive materials, by hot materials, and by illuminated materials were universal. The electrons were named for these particles by the scientific community.

Conclusion: The electron is a unique particle of a group of sub-atomic particles called leptons. This lightest element is thousand times lighter than the atom of hydrogen.

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