Weight of an Electron

[ May 23, 2014 ]

An electron is a negatively charged particle that has haunted us with careless errors on so many of our chemistry tests. All of the questions we have answered regarding this “weightless” particle with a “negligible” mass, however, seem to have met their match.

Recently, a team led by Sven Sturm at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg was able to weigh an electron. At a miniscule 0.000548579909067 AMU, the newly found weight of the electron is 13 times more accurate than the previously acknowledged weight. This discovery has made great leaps in approaching an accurate measurement of a single electron’s weight.

For the true scientists among you all, this discovery has much larger implications. Being able to factor in the weight of an electron will revolutionize our understanding of the Standard Model (our current representation of a single atom) and provide a basis for more accurate physics experiments.

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