What are electrons and how important are they?

Do you know what electrons are or what electrons are for? In this article we will cover everything about electrons in a very simple way, so we will talk about where electrons are found, the main characteristics of electrons, when electrons were discovered and what is the relationship between electrons and electricity. If you are passionate or have certain curiosities about electricity this is an excellent opportunity to learn even more, come on!

What are atoms:

To better understand what electrons are, it is good that you know what the atom is, because it is what we define as the former of matter, that is, substances, chemical elements, molecules, inorganic and organic materials are formed by atoms, it is important to highlight that the atom is not the smallest part of matter, but that it is not yet possible to visualize it, even with technological advances.

All knowledge we have about the atom is directly related to the physical and chemical experiments carried out, in addition to the mathematical aspects that have been scientifically proven, so what we know about the atom is that its constitution has positive particles (protons), particles without charge (neutrons) ) and negative particles (electrons).

We can identify two main regions of an atom, the nucleus defined as the central part of the atom, the nucleus being the most dense, compact and massive part of the atom. In addition to the nucleus we have the electrosphere, which is a region around the nucleus.

Representation of an atom.

What are electrons:

Now that we know what an atom is, we can better understand the definition of electrons. So we define electrons as the particles that make up the atom. The electrons are located in the electrosphere of the atom, moving around the nucleus in circular orbits, which have a well-defined and characteristic energy, which are defined as an energy level or electronic layer.

The electron is a subatomic particle and has a relatively small mass, this value is so low that in relation to the total mass of the atom it can be considered negligible. To make it clearer, suppose that a person was on a scale and at this very moment an insect also climbed on the scale, then the value shown on the scale would change? No, therefore the mass of the insect would be negligible in relation to the mass of a person, in the same way, it happens with the electron in relation to the atom.

It is important to highlight that according to the Rutherford-Bohr atomic model there are seven electronic layers (K, L, M, N, O, P and Q), with only a few circular orbits being granted to the electrons, because in each of these orbits the electron has constant energy, any change in electrons between these layers can cause several phenomena, whether physical or chemical, releasing or absorbing energy for example.

What is Free electron:

The free electron is when the atom loses electrons, and is positively charged due to the protons that form the cations. In this way the electrons are called free electrons because they are more distant from the nucleus of the atom, that is, they are in the valence shell.

Discovery of electrons.

Many years ago, the Greek philosopher Tales of Miletus (625 BC – 546 BC) observed that by rubbing an amber on fabric, such as silk or wool for example, he started to attract small and light bodies, like straw, thus becoming “ energized”.

As time went by, new experiments related to electricity were performed, and with that came new discoveries, and these experiments revealed that the matter constituted positive and negative charges.

But that it was only at the end of the 19th century that the scientist Joseph John Thomson carried out more experiments with cathode ray tubes that led them to discover electrons, that through these studies he reached several conclusions about the electron, that is, the electron is a subatomic particle, has mass and negative charge. Cathode rays were called electrons and are considered the first subatomic particle discovered.

Relationship of electrons to electricity.

Electrons have everything to do with electricity, because if electrons had not been discovered with certainty almost everything around us would not exist, there would be nothing that depended on electricity, both for the functioning and for the manufacture of something.

As we already know, the electric current is nothing more than an ordered flow of electrons by a certain material, which is usually a metal, where there are free electrons. So these free electrons are driven by the action of an electric field or a magnetic field.

We can understand electrical energy as a relationship between three electrical quantities, which is electrical voltage, electrical current and electrical resistance, and the variation of any one of these quantities directly interfere with the amount of electrons passing through a conductor for example, this relationship can be easily understood through ohm’s law .

If we consider it to be a circuit that has a fixed voltage and we vary the resistance value of this circuit, its current will vary inversely proportional to the resistance, that is, the greater the resistance, the smaller the amount of electrons going through that circuit.

If you have any doubts about the electric current, the video below is a complete lesson talking in detail about the electric current, its main characteristics and how it behaves in certain circuits.

We finished this article and hope to have helped you answer all your questions about electrons! If you still have any doubts or curiosity about this matter, leave it in the comments and we will respond.