The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: What is a electron  (Read 9858 times)

Offline Vern

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2072
    • View Profile
    • Photonics
What is a electron
« Reply #25 on: 26/02/2009 18:41:07 »
Quote from: Sophe
There seems to be some confusion here.
An electron is an electron - it doesn't go anywhere at the speed of light. It changes its energy state and a photon ('speed of light') is released / captured. If the electron goes away it can be at any speed - according to the energy it is given - it could be a few m/s.
Yes; I know; maybe I should have said; abandons its electron state, becomes a photon, and zips ...

I know that for a time folks liked to think that there was some solid something that was the electron and that the energy it gave up when it ceased to exist was a property of the electron. John Wheeler suggested that the solid something that was the electron hid itself in an invisible foam-like property of space. But I didn't think that idea caught on.
« Last Edit: 26/02/2009 18:46:51 by Vern »
 

Offline justaskin

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 123
    • View Profile
What is a electron
« Reply #26 on: 27/02/2009 08:36:39 »
If an electron does not move what moves in an electrical circuit?.

Cheers
justaskin
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12656
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
What is a electron
« Reply #27 on: 27/02/2009 11:45:40 »
Isn't it the exchanging of photons that causes it?
 

Offline Vern

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2072
    • View Profile
    • Photonics
What is a electron
« Reply #28 on: 27/02/2009 12:35:19 »
If an electron does not move what moves in an electrical circuit?.

Cheers
justaskin
I didn't see any suggestion that an electron does not move; just that it does not move at the speed of light.
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12001
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
What is a electron
« Reply #29 on: 27/02/2009 15:10:22 »
If an electron does not move what moves in an electrical circuit?.

Cheers
justaskin

Reading you I felt 'forced' to share a good friend of mine ( and I don't care in the least if he refuses to recognize this relation :)

A bright answer from a bright guy, once again..

Corvidae said.. 'Apropos electrons and charge'..
to help me see :)
"
Maybe a mammalian analogy would be more enlightening. Think of a conductor as a long field of gopher holes. Every hole is an atom with it's own set of gophers. There is exactly enough room in each gopher hole for 29 gophers (copper gopher holes). And every gopher hole needs 29 gophers to keep itself maintained.

Along comes farmer Battery and he shoots a gopher on one end of the field and releases one gopher on the other end of the field. The gophers in the hole where one was shot, now need an extra gopher. However the new gopher is WAY on the other end of the field. It's much easier to steal a gopher from a nearby hole. So the gophers charge (Yup, the mystical charge) over to the other hole (atom), and steal a gopher (electron). Now that gopher hole needs a new gopher and does the same thing to another hole that's closer to the new gopher.

Rinse and repeat until you get greasy grimy...no wait wrong analogy..Until you reach the far end of the field, and the new gopher gets pulled into the nearest hole that's missing a gopher.

In the end, the new electrons (gophers) don't actually move very far, since there is always a nearby atom needing a negative charge. For an electron to actually move all the way down the field, it'd take a whole lot of gopher killing.

If you want to get really confused about it. Try figuring out the actual electron flow involved in receiving an FM radio signal. "

-----------

And then follows another good friends explanation :)

bm1957 writes...

"

Corvidae's analogy covers one of the points I was going to make. Electrons have negative charge and protons have positive charge, but it's only the electrons which move. When one electron moves from where it was, it leaves a 'virtual' positive charge there. This is referred to as a 'hole'. The movement of negative electrons in one direction is entirely equivalent to the movement of positive holes in the other direction. Protons very rarely move in an electrical circuit (except maybe when ions are conducting, off point though.).

The transfer of energy (according to currently accepted theory) is entirely through the transfer of photons between electrons; an electron receiving a photon becomes excited and jumps to a higher energy level. When it falls back down to its original energy level, it releases a photon. This is the proposed mechanism for the electromagnetic force. Photons can easily transfer across a junction between the socket in the wall and the plug which is inserted into it, as can electrons flow both ways (equivalent to positive holes moving in opposite directions to the electrons) across the junction. This is also true if it was your finger which went into the socket and completed the circuit to ground.

Back to AC. The electrons are still moving, but the net flow rate is zero. They go backwards and forwards on the spot, about 20 times a second (at 50Hz). The distance they go backwards and forwards depends on the voltage. The average DC current being transferred is zero. If you somehow tweak your 'receiver' to flip every cycle (as motors and electronic circuits can), then you extract the energy of the 'positive DC electrons' then flip, and extract the energy of the 'negative DC electrons'. Since you flip in between, the energies add together because they were 180deg out of phase before the flip, and are now exactly in phase. The wiki rectifier link should clarify this.

Hopefully this is all following logically???  "
« Last Edit: 27/02/2009 15:19:13 by yor_on »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12656
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
What is a electron
« Reply #30 on: 27/02/2009 15:18:34 »
I think I'd better gopher my tea now  ;D
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12001
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
What is a electron
« Reply #31 on: 27/02/2009 15:24:00 »
Both of those guys are so very good :)
And I think (?) this  is a main stream explanation.
Even though I still wonder why those poor gophers gets shot.

Bad breath? Entropy??
Or was it just that their time was in, sort of???
« Last Edit: 27/02/2009 15:28:45 by yor_on »
 

lyner

  • Guest
What is a electron
« Reply #32 on: 27/02/2009 20:11:35 »
Quote
Yes; I know; maybe I should have said; abandons its electron state, becomes a photon, and zips ...
When does this happen, Vern? That is my confusion. Are you talking of some Gamma Ray interaction?
 

Offline Vern

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2072
    • View Profile
    • Photonics
What is a electron
« Reply #33 on: 27/02/2009 21:02:46 »
Quote
Yes; I know; maybe I should have said; abandons its electron state, becomes a photon, and zips ...
When does this happen, Vern? That is my confusion. Are you talking of some Gamma Ray interaction?
I was thinking of electron-positron collisions where both become gamma ray photons. The confusedly way of saying it was an attempt to evoke the thought that maybe the electron was a gamma ray photon all along, and only needed a little nudge to break out of its entrapment and continue on its way :)
 

Offline justaskin

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 123
    • View Profile
What is a electron
« Reply #34 on: 28/02/2009 00:57:01 »
Thanks yor-on that was my understanding without any gophers having to be shot. :D
I must have misunderstood what was written.
Give us your electron or the gopher gets it.

Cheers
justaskin
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12001
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
What is a electron
« Reply #35 on: 28/02/2009 13:47:50 »

Give us your electron or the gopher gets it.

Cheers
justaskin

Yep, and then run of with all the loot:)
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

What is a electron
« Reply #35 on: 28/02/2009 13:47:50 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums