What is an Electron?
An electron is a type of subatomic particle that is electrically negative in charge. Apart from every other particle, electrons seem to get found in every atom present. Electrons are considered to be the primary elements of current. The charge present in each electron is known as a unit electrical charge. The charge of an electron is always equal to the charge of the proton hole, but only if they both have a negative sign. Richard Laming was the first person to discuss the existence of charged particles. The charged particles were suggested to be named as 'electron' by an Irish physicist G. Johnstone Stoney in the year 1891. British physicist J.J Thompson and his team were finally successful in discovering and identifying 'electron' as a particle in the year 1897.
Electric Charge, Electrons And Atoms
The amount of electrical charge present in a particle cannot be calculated by examining each electron as they are minimal in size and are hard to get examined. Instead of this, they are measured by the standard unit of quantity of electrical charge and represented by coulomb(C).
C = 6.24 x 1018 electrons
The mass of an electron which is at rest is approximately 9.11 x 10-31 Kilogram (kg) and represented by ‘me', and the charge is calculated to be 1.602 x 10-19 coulombs symbolized as ‘e’.
Atoms are the smallest component of an element, and their sizes are around 100 picometers. One cannot predict their behavior because of their size. An atom also comprises neutrons and protons. Protons are positively charged, and neutrons are charged neutrally. The electrons are attracted towards the protons in the nucleus of the atom. If the number of electrons is equal to the number of protons, then the atom is charged neutrally. If an atom consists of a more or fewer number of electrons than protons, then the atom is either negatively or positively charged.
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This above image depicts the atomic structure of a particle.
The electric charge of electrons is known to be -1, and their average mass is approximately about 1 / 2000 of the mass of a neutron or proton.
Electron Shell (Orbitals)
A number of shells surround the nucleus of an atom. The electrons of the atom get accommodated in these shells. The electron shells also have one or more subshells. These electronic shells decide the atom's electron configuration. The number of electrons that can accommodate in each shell is derived by 2n2, where n is the number of electron shells.
An atom consists of some energy gaps and energy bands in it. The electrons are generally found in these energy bands. Each atom consists of a valence band and conduction band. The gap that is formed between the valence band and conduction band is known as the forbidden energy gap. The gap also decides a material's electrical properties.
An electron cloud is an atomic model in which the atom has a small nucleus that is surrounded by a cloud of fast-moving electrons; this is the perfect electron cloud definition.It is impossible to find the exact position of an electron in the electron cloud at any given time. The electron cloud model predicts the probability of the density of electrons located around the nucleus of the atom.
Positrons are just the same as electrons. The one thing that makes it different from the electron is that it carries electrons of the opposite sign. At a time when a positron will collide with an electron, they may get destroyed producing gamma-ray photons.
Electron diffraction can be defined as the wave nature of electrons. This is mainly used to analyze the crystal structure of a matter in high accuracy.
The electron affinity of an atom is best defined as the amount of energy that is released when an electron gets added to a neutral atom or a molecule that is present in a gaseous state to form a negative ion.
Electrons in an atom are known for forming the strongest bonds. An electron also plays an important part in maintaining the chemical bond between two different atoms. However, a chemical bond is known as the lasting attraction present between atoms or molecules that results in the generation of chemical compounds. There are mainly three types of chemical compounds; they are:
Covalent Bond: Covalent bonds are formed when there is equal sharing of electrons between two or more atoms
Ionic Bond: Ionic bonds are defined as the transfer of valence electrons from one atom to another
Metallic Bond: Metallic bond is a type of bond that is formed between two positively charged atoms