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Big Bang Day: 5 Particles - 1. The Electron

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Title Big Bang Day: 5 Particles - 1. The Electron
Publisher European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Release Date 2009
Language English

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Subject Area Physics
Abstract Simon Singh looks at the stories behind the discovery of 5 of the universe's most significant subatomic particles: the Electron, the Quark, the Anti-particle, the Neutrino and the "next particle". 1. The Electron Just over a century ago, British physicist J.J. Thompson experimenting with electric currents and charged particles inside empty glass tubes, showed that atoms are divisible into indivisible elementary particles. But how could atoms be built up of these so called "corpuscles"? An exciting 30 year race ensued, to grasp the planetary model of the atom with its orbiting electrons, and the view inside the atom was born. Whilst the number of electrons around the nucleus of an atom determines their the chemistry of all elements, the power of electrons themselves have been harnessed for everyday use: electron beams for welding,cathode ray tubes and radiation therapy.

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