What is an electron made out of

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Number 9 Bus Shelter, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Number 9 Bus Shelter Registered Member

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    I know this question is pretty dumb but... if you could enlarge an electron or a quark, what would it be made out of? And are they really round as they are usually represented?

    thanks
     
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  3. dlorde Registered Member

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    It would be made of the same stuff as before you enlarged it

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    , but I'm not sure anyone knows quite what that is. They're not little round balls of stuff though, more like fuzzy car keys - one you look away you're never quite sure where they are or where they'll turn up next. I tend to think of them as little knots or ripples or agitations of spacetime, but it's just a mental image...
     
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Electrons are fundamental particles as far as we know, as are Quarks.
    I see them as very small conglomerations of energy, that as conditions/temperatures change, undergo further conglomerations until we see atoms and molecules of our most basic elements.
    Isn't that what E=Mc2 says?
     
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  7. arauca Banned Banned

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    According to what I read , the author was pointing that electron are like spinning tops and the energy war carried by the angular momentum of the spin
     
  8. dlorde Registered Member

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    Despite its name, the spin of particles in quantum mechanics isn't the same as in classical physics, e.g. spinning tops, etc. It is an intrinsic property of particles; photons always have spin 1, electrons always have spin 1/2. It relates to 'spin angular momentum', a quantum mechanical property. Quantum mechanics also describes 'orbital angular momentum', which is analogous to classical angular momentum.

    Quantum mechanics has reused a number of classical and macro-scale names and labels for the properties of its particles - there's also the 'colours' and 'flavours' of quarks, for example.
     
  9. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    Above it seems you imply that the intrinsic spin (+/- 1/2) of an electron has no connection to the classical concept of spin, as in the spinning top. The 1/2 spin (+/-) is a quantization of the electron's angular momentum as it spins around an axis. There is a classical aspect to that spin/angular momentum. It just does not make sense, as we understand QM to conceptualize it in a classical context, where the magnitude might vary.

    It is not constructive to think of the intrinsic angular momentum or axial spin of elementary particles, which in the case of an electron is thought of as a point mass, in a classical sense with an associated velocity. Photons, electrons, protons and neutrons..., are all assigned quantized spin numbers, which though they describe well, the relationships/interactions of these particles at a quantum level, do not attempt to describe their axial spin in a macroscopic classical sense.

    How fast does an electron or proton spin on its axis, is not a constructive question. Do electrons spin in a classical sense? Yes... However, it is not currently constructive to think of electron spin in classical terms.., and it may not even be measurable, in terms other than the quantized quantum numbers assigned. When talking about a point mass/particle axial angular velocity has no meaning.., aside form how it relates the particle's interaction with other quantum particles.
     
  10. pmb Banned Banned

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    Electrons aren't made out of anything else. They're called fundamental particles for this reason. They don't have a shape to them at all since they're point particles meaning that all that the are is located at a single point in space. So no matter how much you enlarge them they always will be a point particle. The reason that they're represented by a sphere is because they have to be represented somehow when someone wants to provide a diagram with them in it. I would say they choose the sphere for its shape because its the simplest shape there is and since the electron "looks" the same no matter from what direction you "look" at it from. By this I'm referring to its charge and inertial properties.
     
  11. arauca Banned Banned

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    Boy oh boy you guy say a lot of things like philosophers and say nothing.
     
  12. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    I suppose you think you can do better?
     
  13. dlorde Registered Member

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    Thanks for the more detailed explanation. I didn't intend to imply your <bolded above> by my <bolded above>; I should have been more explicit. It's a tricky topic to simplify...
     
  14. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    I think it's ok to say an electron has 'components'. It has mass, charge, and spin. Static charge is spherically symmetric, which suggests electrons are like points.

    In an old undergrad physics text I have, electrons are drawn with (electric) field lines radiating from them, which distort when they accelerate in some direction.
     
  15. pmb Banned Banned

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    What exactly is that supposed to mean?
     
  16. arauca Banned Banned

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    I could not figure out from what you said is an electron
     
  17. Boris2 Valued Senior Member

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    i thought pmb's post explained pretty well what electrons were ande "looked like". could apply to any fundamental particle. maybe not having a uni education just means i haven't a clue though. but i doubt it.
     
  18. pmb Banned Banned

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    My post wasn't intended to tell people what an electron was. It was to answer the question posted in the first post. An electron is simply a charged particle with certain defining properties of proper mass, charge and spin.
     
  19. arauca Banned Banned

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    Pal I have been around for long time in chemistry perhaps longer then your lifespan .
     
  20. pmb Banned Banned

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    Instead of going there why not simply state what it is about our responses that doesn't address the OPs question?
     
  21. Boris2 Valued Senior Member

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    lol. so? a self appeal to authority. i think that is a first.
     
  22. arauca Banned Banned

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    An eolectron have mass It spins like a top and the spin is subject to the energy state that he is in , I pointed this on the post before but I did not included mass an that is in a simple way I don't know were other attribute fit.
     
  23. arauca Banned Banned

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    I am not authority , but I don't like people trying to give me a snow job.
     

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