Tech UPTechnologyThe electron is shaped like a marble

The electron is shaped like a marble

electron What is the shape of an electron? Is it like a ball of yarn? Is it oval? Spherical? Scientists at Imperial College London (United Kingdom) have made the most precise measurement of the shape of this elementary particle and have discovered that it is a practically perfect sphere . Their findings are published in the journal Nature .

In an experiment that has spanned more than a decade, physicist Jony Hudson and his colleagues have used molecule cooling techniques to study electrons . Using a very precise laser they measured its movement. In principle, if they were not perfectly round, their movement would present a characteristic tremor that would distort their shape. However, the scientists did not find even the slightest sign of trembling.

The result of the work will have repercussions in the study of antimatter , an elusive substance that behaves the same as ordinary matter, although it has an opposite electrical charge. For example, the antimatter version for the electron, with a negative charge, would be the antielectron or positron, with a positive charge. Understanding the shape of the electron could help explain how positrons behave. Furthermore, these new findings could have implications for theories of particle physics and cosmology beyond the standard model.

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