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What is an electron? | ScienceBlogs

What is an electron? | ScienceBlogs

As shocking as it could sound, nobody actually is aware of what an electron is, and it is this basic query that has been the driving power for a lot of contemporary physics and ultimately led to the event of quantum subject principle.

To reply the query “What is an electron?”, you’d suppose step one could be to look at it. However, that is simpler stated than carried out. Electrons are just too small for us to look at – the smallest factor we will observe is an atom and even that is not noticed with a standard microscope.

So, we will’t observe an electron, nonetheless we will observe its conduct, extra particularly its vitality. Currently this is carried out with Penning traps – a particular system developed within the 1970’s with the aim of trapping particles for intensive intervals of time in order that correct measurements could possibly be made.

what is an electron

What is essential to notice is that after we make such a measurement of the vitality, we’re actually making a measurement of a single ion i.e. an electron surrounding a central nucleus – not a single electron.

J. J. ThompsonIn reality, it was one of these vitality measurement that led to the invention of the electron by J. J. Thompson in 1879. This discovery subsequently ended the concept the atom was the smallest particle, with Thompson as an alternative suggesting that an atom is composed of electrons surrounded by a soup of constructive cost – the plum pudding mannequin.

However, this was later discovered to be incorrect when Ernest Rutherford carried out his well-known gold leaf experiments together with Geiger and Marsden, and concluded that the mass of an atom was concentrated at its middle and thus proposed a mannequin with a constructive central nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons.

gold leaf experiments

This mannequin was additional developed with the assistance of Niels Bohr, however as an alternative of the electrons being randomly distributed he proposed that they existed in orbitals – orbiting the central constructive nucleus analogous to planets orbiting a central nucleus/star.

Bohr orbitals

Now with any mannequin we must always have the ability to clarify what we’re observing. A spectral evaluation of hydrogen reveals a set of discrete emission strains which the Bohr mannequin explains because the transition of electrons between orbitals. However, the Bohr mannequin is solely in a position to clarify the emission spectra for hydrogen or different single electron atoms like ionized helium.

For multi-electron atoms the spectral evaluation confirmed many extra discrete emission strains that might not be defined by the Bohr mannequin.

orbitals 2

This is the place the quantum mannequin took over, the place, as an alternative of present in precisely-defined orbits, all that is identified about electrons is their possible distribution across the atom – usually known as an electron cloud. The electron cloud mannequin was developed in 1926 by Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg and may be defined by way of a chance wave – particularly the Schrodinger wave equation – the place the states or ‘orbitals’ that an electron can occupy in an atom is analogous to that of a standing wave.

In the quantum mannequin these states, or orbitals depend upon a set of quantum numbers for instance the precept quantum quantity n, the angular momentum quantity l, the magnetic quantity m, and the spin quantity s. It is these completely different quantum numbers that outline the place and momentum of an electron by way of a chance cloud and describe the emission strains that have been unaccounted for within the Bohr mannequin.

This different view of electrons as chance clouds, quite than particular orbital states, efficiently describes the conduct of matter. However, though reaching what the Bohr mannequin couldn’t, it nonetheless doesn’t reveal the character of the electron and the place its mass comes from.

To get deeper nonetheless we’d like a mannequin that extra precisely describes the character and construction of the electron which is simply what is supplied within the generalised holographic mannequin launched by Nassim Haramein.

This method begins by defining the elemental little bit of vitality as an oscillating spherical unit on the Planck scale – named the Planck Spherical Unit (PSU). Then, increasing on the work of physicists David Bohm, Jacob Bekenstein, Stephen Hawking, Gerard ’t Hooft and Leonard Susskind, it states that the vitality – or data – of any spherical system is proportional to the variety of PSUs throughout the spherical quantity (quantity entropy) and the variety of PSUs accessible on the spherical floor horizon (floor entropy).


This holographic relationship between the outside and the inside defines the mass expressed by the system at any given second whereas the inverse defines the mass-energy density of the system – or as described by David Bohm, the unfolded and the enfolded, respectively.

The query is – can this method be prolonged to the electron? 

The first step in answering this query is to think about the spatial extent of the electron and the amount of data that it encloses. So if we begin with the premise that an electron cloud may be thought of as an ‘electron’ coherent subject of data then as an alternative of occupied with the electron as a separate system, the electron could possibly be regarded as a cloud of potential vitality spatially extending from the proton out to the radius the place the amount encloses the electron cloud of a hydrogen Bohr atom. When we make the most of this method, we discover an electron mass resolution by way of the holographic surface-to-volume ratio – the switch potential – and a mass equal to the experimentally measured mass of the electron. So now we’ve got a mannequin that not solely predicts the right mass of the electron however as effectively provides a bodily understanding of its construction right down to the size of the Planck size.

This new image of the electron as a coherent collective behaviour of the Planck scale granular construction of spacetime provides us a deeper understanding of the character of the electron. The particulars of this work have been not too long ago printed in Physics Essays.

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