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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Electron

As I mentioned in the earlier blog post matter has a wave like nature along with a particle like nature. However it is only apparent in case of subatomic particles since they have very little mass.  Now because of the wave like nature there is fundamental uncertainty in determining the position of  a subatomic particle. An electron's mass is 9.1X10-31while the mass of a proton is 1.673X10-27kg.

Mathematical calculations for fundamental uncertainty to determine the position of electron actually exceeds the radius of the nucleus of an atom and hence you never find electron inside the nucleus of an atom. 

This fundamental uncertainty is the reason why one cannot plot an exact circular path of the rotation of the electron around the nucleus. One can only plot a probability region where the electron is most likely to be found around the nucleus. Also the wavelike nature of a very light particle like the electron makes its orbit spherical rather than circular.

Electrons are very important because the electricity that is produced is due to the flow of electrons. All electrons carry a negative charge. If you are using a solar cell, the phenomenon by which the electricity if generated is called PhotoElectricity. It works this way:-

The electrons in the outermost shell of the atom are least strongly bound to the nucleus. When this atom absorbs a photon, the photon's energy is transmitted to the atom. If this energy exceeds the binding energy of nucleus and the electron then the electron is release from the atom and it is now a free electron. When this electron is in an electric field, it will travel across the circuit thus generating electricity. The solar panels are made from silicon or germanium and this materials have the property of generating photoelectricity absorbing photoelectrons from visible light. Charge of an electron is about 1.602X10-19 coulomb

Proton carries an equivalent amount of opposite charge but it much heavier than electron, hence it resides inside the nucleus and it is more strongly bound to the nucleus

1 comment:

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