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Questions tagged [electrons]

Negatively charged particle with spin 1/2. A component of mundane terrestrial matter, and part of all neutral atoms and molecules. It has a mass about 1/1800 that of a proton. Its antiparticle is the positron.

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171
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65k views

Why doesn't matter pass through other matter if atoms are 99.999% empty space?

The ghostly passage of one body through another is obviously out of the question if the continuum assumption were valid, but we know that at the micro, nano, pico levels (and beyond) this is not even ...
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Why don't electrons crash into the nuclei they “orbit”?

I'm having trouble understanding the simple "planetary" model of the atom that I'm being taught in my basic chemistry course. In particular, I can't see how a negatively charged electron can stay ...
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4answers
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Why do electrons, according to my textbook, exist forever?

Does that mean that electrons are infinitely stable? The neutrinos of the three leptons are also listed as having a mean lifespan of infinity.
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7answers
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Why are protons heavier than electrons?

Our teacher told us that protons are nearly 1800 times heavier than electrons. Is there any known reason as to why this is so? Or is this just an empirical value, one we do not know the reason to?
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Why is the charge naming convention wrong?

I recently came to know about the Conventional Current vs. Electron Flow issue. Doing some search I found that the reason for this is that Benjamin Franklin made a mistake when naming positive and ...
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4answers
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Why do electron and proton have the same but opposite electric charge?

What is the explanation between equality of proton and electron charges (up to a sign)? This is connected to the gauge invariance and renormalization of charge is connected to the renormalization of ...
48
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6answers
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Do electrons have shape?

According to the Wikipedia page on the electron: The electron has no known substructure. Hence, it is defined or assumed to be a point particle with a point charge and no spatial extent. Does ...
48
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4answers
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Why do electrons occupy the space around nuclei, and not collide with them?

We all learn in grade school that electrons are negatively-charged particles that inhabit the space around the nucleus of an atom, that protons are positively-charged and are embedded within the ...
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4answers
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What is the mass density distribution of an electron?

I am wondering if the mass density profile $\rho(\vec{r})$ has been characterized for atomic particles such as quarks and electrons. I am currently taking an intro class in quantum mechanics, and I ...
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Could a powerful gravitational wave cause electrons to emit light?

I imagine electrons being accelerated by passing gravitational waves, say from a nearby kilonova, so I would expect the electrons to emit light. Am I right?
35
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6answers
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Can a balloon be inflated with electrons?

If I use a Van De Graff generator to pump electrons into a deflated balloon, eventually negative charge will start to build up inside the balloon. Assume the mouth of the balloon is sealed so air can ...
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6answers
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What is the probability for an electron of an atom on Earth to lie outside the galaxy?

In this youtube video it is claimed that electrons orbit their atom's nucleus not in well-known fixed orbits, but within "clouds of probability", i.e., spaces around the nucleus where they can lie ...
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Where are the inaccuracies in the Bohr model of the atom?

The Bohr model of the atom is essentially that the nucleus is a ball and the electrons are balls orbiting the nucleus in a rigid orbit. This allowed for chemists to find a model of chemical bonding ...
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3answers
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Do electrons really perform instantaneous quantum leaps?

This is not a duplicate, non of the answers gives a clear answer and most of the answers contradict. There are so many questions about this and so many answers, but none of them says clearly if the ...
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How fast do electrons travel in an atomic orbital?

I am wondering how fast electrons travel inside of atomic electron orbitals. Surely there is a range of speeds? Is there a minimum speed? I am not asking about electron movement through a conductor.
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5answers
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Photoelectricity in daily life

Photons strike metals innumerable times in our day-to-day experience.Then, why photoelectrons do not come out of metal surface and cause current?
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4answers
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How do electrons know which path to take in a circuit?

The current is maximum through those segments of a circuit that offer the least resistance. But how do electrons know beforehand that which path will resist their drift the least?
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3answers
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How does electricity propagate in a conductor?

On a systems level, I understand that as electrons are pushed into a wire, there is a net field and a net electron velocity. And I've read that the net electron drift is slow. But electricity ...
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5answers
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Why do electrons fall from a high excitation to a lower one?

If when you shine a photon into an atom for example, and this excites an electron to a higher energy level, do the electron(s) keep going higher the more light you shine, and is there an energy limit, ...
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Why can't an electron be observed?

I was watching a show on Netflix hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson and he mentioned that one of the fundamental particles that we know of, the electron, is something we have never even observed directly. ...
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5answers
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Where is the evidence that the electron is pointlike?

I'm writing a piece about the electron, and I'm having trouble finding evidence to back up the claim that the evidence is pointlike. People tend to say the observation of a single electron in a ...
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3answers
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Why is an electron still an elementary particle after absorbing / emitting a photon?

When an electron absorbs a photon, does the photon become electron "stuff" (energy); or, is it contained within the electron as a discrete "something"?
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4answers
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Classical proof of the gyromagnetic ratio $g=2$

I was reading Representing Electrons: A Biographical Approach to Theoretical Entities, by Theodore Arabatzis. At a certain point, where he is explaining the history of the magnetic moment of the ...
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6answers
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Speed of electrons in a current-carrying metallic wire: does it even make sense?

Does it make sense to speak about the speed of electrons in a current-carrying wire (non perfect conductor)? If so, what is their speed? Here are my thoughts: On the Internet (Wikipedia, ...
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3answers
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Can neutrinos “hit” electrons?

I understand that particles interact via the fundamentals forces of nature. For example photons interact with matter because they carry the change in the electromagnetic field. Neutrinos, on the other ...
22
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2answers
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Are all electrons identical?

Why should two sub-atomic (or elementary particle) - say electrons need to have identical static properties - identical mass, identical charge? Why can't they differ between each other by a very ...
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2answers
2k views

Is there experimental verification of the s, p, d, f orbital shapes?

Have there been any experiments performed (or proposed) to prove that the shapes of the s,p,d,f orbitals correspond to our spatial reality as opposed to just being a figment of the mathematics that ...
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6answers
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Is it wrong to say that an electron can be a wave?

In QM it is sometimes said that electrons are not waves but they behave like waves or that waves are a property of electrons. Perhaps it is better to speak of a wave function representing a particular ...
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Why don't free electrons escape from a conductor?

The thermal velocity of the free electron in a metallic conductor varies from $10^5\ \mathrm{m/s}$ to $10^6\ \mathrm{m/s}$. In spite of high velocity, free electrons fail to escape from the metallic ...
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2answers
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Why don't free electrons fall from metals if shaken?

This is a question we were asked at a physics lecture.
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4answers
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Can two electrons get ever so close as to touch each other?

My friend and I were studying for our EM test when we started to think about what happens to the electric field near an infinite line of charge. $$E = \frac{\lambda}{2\pi\rho\epsilon_{0}}$$ As you ...
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3answers
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Proton: 2 up, 1 down quark, Neutron: 2 down, 1 up, how can Neutron: proton + electron?

I imagine that there is a pretty simple answer to my question, but I have just never gotten it straight. If a proton is comprised of two up quarks and a down, and neutrons are comprised of two down ...
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6answers
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How do electrons “know” to share their voltage between two resistors?

My physics teacher explained the difference between voltage and current using sandwiches. Each person gets a bag full of sandwiches when they pass through the battery. Current = the number of people ...
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7answers
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Does electron in wave form have mass?

I heard from my lecturer that electron has dual nature. For that instance in young's double slit experiment electron exhibits as a particle at ends but it acts as a wave in between the ends. It under ...
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2answers
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Why does this quiz question say that protons and electrons do not combine to form neutrons?

I read this somewhere: Where are the protons and electrons in a neutron star? When the neutron star forms, most of the protons and electrons combine together to form neutrons. But on a true/false ...
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What is charge? [duplicate]

I know this isn't the right place for asking this question, but in other places the answers are so awfull.. I'm studying eletricity, so, I start seeing things like "charges", "electrons has negative ...
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7answers
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In an atom, when an electron loses energy, why is a photon released? If photons are massless, how are they created in this process and why?

This is my first question and I am just a 14 year old so excuse me for my mistakes. Please simplify your answer a little only. Using terms thinking I won't understand is a mistake.
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3answers
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If an electron is an excitation of the electron field, what causes the excitation to be stable?

I won't pretend I understand even the basics of QFT, but from what I've heard about electrons, there are really two main ways of thinking about them. Quantum Mechanics describes an electron by a wave ...
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1answer
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Why doesn't orbital electron fall into the nucleus of Rb85, but falls into the nucleus of Rb83?

Rb83 is unstable and decays to Kr-83. Mode of decay is electron capture. Rb85 is stable. The nuclei Rb83 and Rb85 have the same charge, but Rb85 is heavier than Rb83. While gravity acts more strongly ...
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3answers
788 views

Interpretation of Dirac equation states for moving electron

I try to understand a physical interpretation of the four components of the Dirac 4-spinor for a moving electron (in the simplest case, a plane wave). There is a very good question and answer about ...
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6answers
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When an electron changes its spin, or any other intrinsic property, is it still the same electron?

I am not asking why an intrinsic property, like spin can have more then a single value. I understand particles (electrons) can come to existence with either up or down spin. I am asking why it can ...
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3answers
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What happens to the resistance of a wire if it is heated up?

We had a little discussion in the physics class. We were talking about resistance, and she said that when a wire is heated up, the resistance also increases; but I think that the resistance decreases ...
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4answers
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Are the plates of a battery really charged?

In a zinc/copper Daniell cell correct me if I am wrong : Zinc has 2 valence electrons. So it wants to get rid of them. To do so it sends them to the copper which needs 2 to complete its valence ...
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How do electrons jump orbitals?

My question isn't how they receive the energy to jump, but why. When someone views an element's emission spectrum, we see a line spectrum which proves that they don't exist outside of their orbitals (...
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6answers
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What would happen if Large Hadron Collider would collide electrons?

After some reading about the Large Hadron Collider and it's very impressive instruments to detect and investigate the collision results, there is a remaining question. What would happen if the ...
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4answers
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How do electrons flow in AC? [duplicate]

Electrons flow from low potential to high potential in DC, i.e. from negative terminal to positive terminal. But how do they flow in AC, as the polarity changes every 10ms for 50Hz?
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Are voltages discrete when we zoom in enough?

Voltages are often thought of as continuous physical quantities. I was wondering whether by zooming in a lot, they are discrete. I feel like the answer to the above question is yes as voltages in the ...
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4answers
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An electron has no known internal structure, does that imply it has an unknown one?

I'm currently reading Alonso and Finn's Electromagnetism book. It explains that the spin contributes to the magnetic moment and is somewhat comparable to a rotation of the particle around its own ...
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3answers
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Why is the bottom part of a candle flame blue?

What’s the explanation behind the bottom part of a candle flame being blue? I googled hard in vain. I read this. I don’t understand how it’s explained by the emission of excited molecular radicals in ...
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Is there an electric dipole moment in an electron?

I just read an article in Science News (p7, 11/10/2018, link here) where researchers looked for an electric dipole moment in an electron. They spoke of charge separation between the positive and ...