Computer Sciences

The blockchain concept

Blockchain is the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Fundamentally, the blockchain is simply a ledger, a digital record of transactions associated with a digital currency, a Bitcoin, for instance. ...

Hi Tech & Innovation

Patent talk: Apple logo could light up notifications

How could two blah words "adjustable decoration" garner so much chatter in days? Well, it's about Apple, that's one hotly scented trail, and it's about how the Apple logo might become more than a brain imprint for Apple ...

Internet

Users need to consent to online tracking cookies: EU court

Online companies in the EU can no longer present internet users with a pre-checked box telling them cookies will be planted on their smartphone or computer if they don't deselect the option, under a ruling issued Tuesday.

Energy & Green Tech

Moving e-cars into the fast lane

Researchers have been looking into silicon carbide, a promising alternative material for the semiconductor industry, for several years now. The Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM joined forces with ...

Internet

We street-proof our kids. Why aren't we data-proofing them?

Google recently agreed to pay a US$170 million fine for illegally gathering children's personal data on YouTube without parental consent, which is a violation under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Consumer & Gadgets

Code War: Myanmar's final digital battle ends

Accessing everything from Wikipedia to Google Maps in Myanmar is about to get a lot easier when it finally adopts the universal code underpinning phone and online communication next week.

Engineering

Researchers report a new way to produce curvy electronics

Contact lenses that can monitor your health as well as correct your eyesight aren't science fiction, but an efficient manufacturing method—finding a way to produce the curved lenses with embedded electronics—has remained ...

Hardware

Samsung SSDs open a new chapter with fail-in-place

Samsung Electronics has a new series of PCIe 4.0 SSDs that demonstrate technologies to benefit data centers and businesses. The solid state drives (SSDs) use the PCIe 4.0 standard, whereby sequential read and write speeds ...

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Electron

The electron is a subatomic particle that carries a negative electric charge. It has no known substructure and is believed to be a point particle. An electron has a mass that is approximately 1836 times less than that of the proton. The intrinsic angular momentum (spin) of the electron is a half integer value of 1/2, which means that it is a fermion. The anti-particle of the electron is called the positron, which is identical to electron except that it carries electrical and other charges of the opposite sign. In collisions electrons and positrons annihilate, producing a pair (or more) of gamma ray photons. Electrons participate in gravitational, electromagnetic and weak interactions.

The concept of an indivisible amount of electric charge was theorized to explain the chemical properties of atoms, beginning in 1838 by British natural philosopher Richard Laming; the name electron was introduced for this charge in 1894 by Irish physicist George Johnstone Stoney. The electron was identified as a particle in 1897 by J. J. Thomson and his team of British physicists. Electrons are identical particles that belong to the first generation of the lepton particle family. Electrons have quantum mechanical properties of both a particle and a wave, so they can collide with other particles and be diffracted like light. Each electron occupies a quantum state that describes its random behavior upon measuring a physical parameter, such as its energy or spin orientation. Because an electron is a type of fermion, no two electrons can occupy the same quantum state; this property is known as the Pauli exclusion principle.

In many physical phenomena, such as electricity, magnetism, and thermal conductivity, electrons play an essential role. An electron generates a magnetic field while moving, and it is deflected by external magnetic fields. When an electron is accelerated, it can absorb or radiate energy in the form of photons. Electrons, together with atomic nuclei made of protons and neutrons, make up atoms. However, electrons contribute less than 0.06% to an atom's total mass. The attractive Coulomb force between an electron and a proton causes electrons to be bound into atoms. The exchange or sharing of the electrons between two or more atoms is the main cause of chemical bonding.

Electrons were created by the Big Bang, and they are lost in stellar nucleosynthesis processes. Electrons are produced by cosmic rays entering the atmosphere and are predicted to be created by Hawking radiation at the event horizon of a black hole. Radioactive isotopes can release an electron from an atomic nucleus as a result of negative beta decay. Laboratory instruments are capable of containing and observing individual electrons, while telescopes can detect electron plasma by its energy emission. Electrons have multiple applications, including welding, cathode ray tubes, electron microscopes, radiation therapy, lasers and particle accelerators.

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