Chemistry

Electrons



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Most of modern physical science, including modern chemistry and physics is based off of the concept of the electron.  Simply put, an electron is a subatomic particle that is so small that many people consider them to be point masses, that is they are virtually massless.  

Electrons do not simply exist in space.  They are found in orbitals around a nucleus: moving, rotating, and vibrating.  One might ask why the electrons surround a nucleus constantly.  This constraint is because the protons in a nucleus are positively charged, and electrons are equally and oppositely negatively charged.  This charge is measured to be 1.60217646 × 10-19 coulombs.  This is why there are equal numbers of protons and electrons in a stable atom.  This attraction is absolutely necessary for the very physical existence of our universe.  Imagine if electrons did not need to stay close to a nucleus, electric current could start randomly flowing through conductors at a moments notice, and every substance that we consider chemically stable and constant would not be so.  This would in turn cause random solids to react with each other, each causing explosive side effects.  In short, it is imperative that electrons have this very precise charge.  

Electrons also have in integral role in chemical bonding.  Covalent bonds deal with the sharing of electrons between atoms, which leads to the stabilization of many organic and inorganic compounds.  For example, diamonds are only able to be the beautiful stones that hang from our ears by sharing immense amounts of electrons between carbon atoms over a network of covalent bonds.  Ionic Bonds also deal with the number of electrons in relation to protons and how it will yield a net positive or negative charge in the atom.  Thus multiple atoms can combine in an ionic compound by balancing the overall number of protons and electrons.  The simplest substances known to man are all made possible because of the proper quantity and placement of electrons in various energy levels.  

Electrons are quite possibly the most important particle to the human race, because as we have previously illustrated, chaos would ensue if electrons were not there to balance out the atoms that make up matter.  It is imperative that every science enthusiast know the potential and power that is the simple electron.  When you look at something such as table salt, or liquid water, know that it only exists because of this infinitesimally small particle we call an electron.  

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