Meaning of Electron

What is Electron:

Electron is the name given to a subatomic particle, that is, a stable particle of the atom that is characterized by having a negative charge. It is usually represented by the following sign: and.

In 1891 the Irish scientist George Stoney presented the hypothesis of the existence of these particles. In it he speculated that they would have an electrical charge, for which he assigned them the name of electron.

However, it was Joseph John Thomson who managed to prove the existence of electrons in 1897, while working on a study of cathode rays.


Being an elementary particle of matter, electrons do not have subdivisions or substructures, that is, they cannot be broken down into other particles.

See also:

  • Atom.
  • Neutron.

Due to the size of their mass, electrons are part of the family of leptons along with particles like muon and the tauonthe lightest particles known.

Indeed, electrons have a mass of 0.0005 GeV (gigaelectronvolt) or 9.1 × 10−31 kg. By comparison, the mass of a proton is at least 1,800 times greater. Likewise, electrons also have no volume. The electric charge of an electron is −1.6 × 10-19.

Although most electrons are part of atoms, there are autonomous electrons that move independently in matter, as well as electrons that are capable of forming beams in a vacuum.

Electrons are fundamental in the formation of chemical bonds, and therefore, of chemical reactions. They also play a leading role in the phenomenon of electromagnetism. Electric current is produced by the movement of free electrons in a certain direction. Also, the signals of TV screens are produced by a beam of electrons that are formed in a vacuum.

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See also Covalent bond