Electrons . They are one of the most important types of subatomic particles. Electrons combine with protons and (usually) with neutrons to create atoms .


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  • 1 Definition
    • 1 Electron mass
  • 2 Characteristics of electrons
    • 1 Other considerations
  • 3 See also
  • 4 Source


The lightest elementary particle that makes up the Atoms and that has the least possible charge of negative electricity is known as the electron .

It is a subatomic particle that surrounds the nucleus of the atom, which is made up of protons and neutrons . Electrons define the attractions between atoms and generate, through their movement, electric current in most metals. They were discovered by the British physicist Joseph John Thomson ( 1856 – 1906 ), although their existence had already been postulated by the scientist George Johnstone Stoney ( 1826 – 1911 ).

Electron mass

The mass of the electron is about 1,800 times less than the mass of the proton . Despite the fact that electrons are usually part of Atoms , there are electrons that form beams in a vacuum or that move independently through matter. If the electrons move outside the atom, they can form electric current .

Electron characteristics

Electrons are much smaller than neutrons and protons. The mass of a single neutron or proton is more than 1,800 times greater than the mass of an electron. He has a mass of 9.11 x 10-28 grams.

Electrons have a negative electric charge , with a magnitude sometimes called elemental charge or fundamental charge. This is why an electron is said to have a charge of -1.

Protons have a charge of the same value, but with opposite polarity, that is, +1. The fundamental charge has a value of 1,602 x 10-19 coulomb.

Other considerations

A neutral Atom has the same number of electrons and protons. The electrons form a cloud around the small, dense Core , made up of neutrons and protons. Negatively charged electrons are attracted to the nucleus by positively charged protons.

Sometimes electrons can be released from the atom, carrying with it its negative charge and following an Ion with a net positive charge. Electrons can be found at different energy levels within an atom.

When electrons move from one energy level to another, they absorb or emit a Photon . Electrons from different atoms have various energies associated with the transition between their energy levels. The various energies of the photons emitted or absorbed by various elements serve as “fingerprints” that scientists can use to identify specific elements. These “fingerprints”, in the form of a light spectrum, or photons of other wavelengths, allow us to determine, for example, which distant stars are primarily composed of Hydrogen .

Protons are a kind of leption , a type of subatomic particle that also includes mesons and tauons. Electrons are frequently detached from their atoms. Due to the charge of the electron, these “free electrons” can be accelerated at very high speeds by electric and magnetic fields. These energetic free electrons are a form of particle radiation.

Large numbers of electrons can flow when exposed to an electric or magnetic field. A flow of electrons is known as an electric current . We are all familiar with the flow of electricity in the wiring in our homes. Electrical currents can also flow out of the wires, for example, in the layer of the atmosphere of the Earth rich in ions and electrons known as ionosphere .


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