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The electron is a subatomic particle with a negative electric charge that is thought to be an elementary particle.

The electrons, together with protons and neutrons, are components of atoms and, although they contribute to the total mass of the atom by less than 0.06%, nature is characterized significantly and its chemical properties determined: the link Chemical covalent bond is formed by following the exchange of electrons between two or more atoms.

The movement of the electron generates a magnetic field, while the variation of its energy and its acceleration cause the emission of photons; It is also responsible for the conduction of electric current and heat.

The advent of electronics and the relative development of information technology have made the electron the protagonist of twentieth-century technological development. Its properties are exploited in a variety of applications, such as cathode ray tubes, electron microscopes, radiotherapy and lasers.

In the standard model of particle physics, electrons belong to the group of subatomic particles called leptons, which are thought to be elementary particles, and have less mass than any other known charged particle. The electron belongs to the first generation of fundamental particles, while the second and third generations contain other charged leptons, the muon and the tauone, which have identical charge and spin, but the resting mass is greater. The electron and all the leptons differ from the other fundamental components of matter (which sonquarks, which constitute protons and neutrons) due to the fact that they are not affected by the strength of the strong nuclear interaction.

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Last review: July 25, 2018