What is

Electron - Explanation and definition of electron

What is an electron

An electron is considered as a tiny and fundamental particle that is part of the structure of atoms with a negative charge and orbit around the atomic nucleus, the electron contributes most of the physico-chemical properties of the elements and materials of the universe, the electron is represented by the symbol e-

According to classical models, the internal structure of atoms is composed by a core with a positive charge which orbit a number of small negatively charged particles named electrons, the sum of positive charges equals the number of negative charges or electrons, doing the atom a neutral and stable particle.

Over time it was discovered that the nuclei of atoms is composed of neutrons and protons, protons provide the positive charges of the atom, for the last century and with the aid of particle accelerators it was discovered that neutrons and protons it composeof another subatomic particles called quark, while electrons appear that are not formed by other types of subatomic particles, thereby it considering the electron as a fundamental particle.

The electrons involved and contribute most physical and chemical properties of the elements around us, the magnetism of a magnet is produced by the arrangement of electrons in one direction, attraction and repulsion forces of any atom, molecule or materials are based on the excess or absence of electrons, chemical oxidation processes are based by a transfer of electrons from one material to another, the chemical bonds that forms molecules, tissues and organs that create life in the universe are based on the issuance and acceptance or sharing of electrons between atoms, electricity that power all devices and machines that we use every day is based on the movement or flow of electrons ... As you can see this tiny particle is the source of life and all the materials around us.

History of the electron

Electron word comes from the Greek word "elektron" which translated is equivalent of Amber, the ancient Greeks found that by rubbing a cloth against a piece of amber that acquired attraction properties to other materials, the phenomenon is known today as static electricity and is based on the exchange of electrons between the cloth and amber.

The first time that was coined the term electron was in 1874 when the Irish physicist George Johnstone Stoney studying the nature of electricity introduced the concept of the electron as the fundamental unit of electricity.

It was in 1897 when Sir Jospeh J. Thomson at the University of Cambridge found by an cathode rays experiment the presence of a particle 2000 times lighter than hydrogen ion, had been discovered for the first time in history the presence of electrons, confirming the existence of these tiny particles that form part of the atom.

But it was not until 1909 when American physicist Robert Millikan determined accurately both the charge and mass, these discovering allowed him to access the Nobel Prize in physics.

The electron has a proximately mass of 9.11 x 10-31 kg and has a negative charge of 1.60 x 10-19 Coulomb, resulting the lighter atomic particle with load ever discovered.

Finally in 1932 the American physicist Carl D. Anderson confirmed the presence of the antiparticle of the electron, named positron that has the same mass and electric charge but with a positive sign.

Electrons applications

As we read earlier in this article, the electrons involved in many physics and chemical processes in all universe, the human beings through experimentation and knowledge of these tiny particles has exploited their properties for use in many applications.

There is no doubt that the most popular application of the electrons is the generation of electricity as an energy source to the various appliances and machines for everyday use, the electric current is based on a flow of electrons from one point to another, 1 electric amp corresponds to a flow of 6.25 x 1018 electrons per second.

Batteries for cars, laptops and smartphones, electric motors which allow the movement of high-speed trains, the generation of hot or cold air through refrigeration equipment, lighting of all households, industries and cities worldwide, the energy that powers our TV, radio, vacuum cleaner, dishwasher and other appliances, the chemistry process of metal coatings known as electroplating ... all are based on electricity and therefore of electrons.

X-rays are based on the phenomenon of radiation energy when an electron beam strikes against one material, such radiation is highly penetrating and allows use in medical radiographs for the diagnosis of disease and for treatment, industry are used as a means to analyze and validate materials by non-destructive testing as a verification tool, in the field of research used in space telescopes and observatories.

Electron beams used for welding, cutting and creating objects at industrial process, as well as cleaning and disinfecting surface treatments, in the area of research the electron beams are the basic principle of electron microscopes that allow us to observe any material or organism at an atomic level.

As you have read the electron is a tiny particle but which plays a key role in our lives and in our universe, finally thanks to the electrons and the electrostatic repulsive forces that arise when charges of the same sign contacted, in this case negative charges, when we put a book on table, this is not able to get through because the electrons that are on the surface of the book repel the electrons that are on the surface of the book, doing a stable universe.

what is an electron