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Even the Electron has bad days.

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 19th April 2012

Researchers have just uncovered an additional characteristic of the electron by revealing that it can undergo a personality crisis.

Electrons, one of the Universes few fundamental particles,  can divide into what’s called ‘quasi-particles’ which means that their core properties can split up and move around like independent particles.

Experts have been able to distinguish two such ‘quasi-particles’ but this accomplishment of technical mastery has allowed physicists to identify the elusive third component of an electron – its ‘orbiton.’

These oribitons are now thought to carry the energy of an electron’s orbit around the nucleus. Generally speaking as the properties of an electron are not free, each electron maintains its properties as it moves around but can split and move independently to ‘jump on’ nearby electrons.

To ease understanding, just imagine if a traffic jam on a one-lane road –‘ it is as if one blue car, pointed west and running at 1,000 RPM, passes on its blueness, its engine speed and its direction to adjacent cars.’**

Magnificent isn’t it? For more details on this discovery visit www.nature.com

*Data source – Wikipedia for ‘electron’

**Data source – BBC Website

Image source@nature.com


Categories: electrical news