It appears that our planet's built-in force field is much stronger than we thought. Scientists studying the Van Allen belts have discovered the presence of a nearly impenetrable barrier that prevents some of the fastest and most powerful "ultrarelativistic" electrons from reaching the surface.
Well, here's something cosmic to be thankful for this weekend. A NASA-led study of the Van Allen radiation belts has uncovered new information about the invisible "shield" that keeps harmful ultrarelativistic electrons from the Earth.
Static electricity works because electrons are strongly attracted to protons, right? But, in atoms, electrons are right there, next to the protons in the nucleus. Why don't the electrons zip directly into the nucleus and stick to the protons?
Back in 1934, a team of physicists came up with an idea for how one might create matter from light. Put simply, just slam two photons into each other to get an electron and a positron, a.k.a. matter. And now, some 80 years later, a team of physicists have a plan to carry out the experiment in real life.
Last week, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics published the most exact value ever observed for the weight of a single electron—a value 13 times more accurate than the previous estimate. And the Penning trap, the kooky looking device shown above, was crucial in obtaining this measurement.
We all take for granted the fact that glass is transparent. But stop and think about it for a second: how can something so bulky and solid be so easy to see through?
Bad news, everyone! New measurements show that electrons are perfectly round. This is a problem because it means something's still seriously wrong with a critical theory that's supposed to tell us why the universe exists.
Electrons are tiny little particles that whizz around atoms, right? Well, kinda, but they're actually far better understood as waves. Wait, what? If that makes you stop and scratch your head don't worry! Just watch this video, and you'll know everything you need to about the exciting world of electrons.
Check out this awesome experiment that shows how J J Thomson began proving the existence of the electron. Thomson did this in 1897, despite the notable difficulty of electrons being much, much too small to see. (Sadly, that's still true today. And we say we've made progress.) We'll tell you how this simple…
Until now, electrons have been regarded as elementary particles—which means that scientists thought they had no component parts or substructure. But now, electrons have been observed decaying into two separate parts—causing physicists to rethink what they know about the particles.
Stanford scientists have created designer electrons that behave as if they were exposed to a magnetic field of 60 Tesla—a force 30 percent stronger than anything ever sustained on Earth. The work could lead to a revolution in the materials that make everything from video displays to airplanes to mobile phones.
We all know the story. Electrons and protons are attracted to each other. That's why a balloon rubbed on hair clings to clothes. The electrons it gained are crying out for protons and dragging the rest of the balloon along with them. But electrons and protons are right next to each other in the atom. Why don't they…
The Pauli exclusion principle is the quantum mechanical concept that no two identical particles in all the Universe may occupy the same quantum state simultaneously. What does that mean, exactly? Well, for starters, it means that the butterfly effect has nothing on the consequences of the Pauli exclusion principle.
If you're a fan of lucid explanations of tricky scientific concepts, it's hard to go wrong with theoretical physicist Brian Cox. But when you mix in physicist Jim Al-Khalili and Simon Pegg, you've got yourself a recipe for pedagogic gold. Also: thinly veiled sex jokes.
We already have optical tweezers, which allow tiny quantities of matter to be held and manipulated by beams of light. With electron tweezers we might be able to grab hold of single atoms.
It was only two years ago that IBM showed us an image of a complete molecule, atomic bonds and all, but today's news does that one infinitesimally-sized breakthrough better. Ladies and gents, behold the first image of an electron's path.
Scientists have found out how a famous sunburn-healing enzyme works. The way it zaps DNA damage sounds so science fictional that it seems like something that happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
University of Pittsburgh researchers have assembled a key piece of tech that will help enable a future generation of extremely powerful quantum computers as well as advanced electronic materials and better computer memories. Their single-electron transistor is the first of its kind made entirely from oxide-based…
It's amazing what an electron can do. Researchers, lead by a team from the University of Pittsburgh, have built the world's first operational single-electron transistor, the SketchSET, which could become an essential component of all sorts of futuristic technologies; from super-dense, high-capacity solid-state drives…
Scientists have figured out a way to flip the spin of individual atoms caught up in a laser matrix. Using this method, they can literally use the spin of atoms to make two-dimensional designs.