How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 733

What is an electron and what keeps its mass and charge together so that when the mass moves, the charge moves with it? — WG, Calgary, Canada
An electron is a fundamental particle that has as two of its attributes, a mass and an electric charge. Because the electron appears to be structureless, it has no size and it wouldn't make sense for its mass to be located at a distance from its charge. With a less fundamental particle such as a proton, the charge and mass can be somewhat spread out and displaced so that the charge and mass can move slightly independently. Still, even in the case of a proton there are effects that keep the mass from getting far away from the charge.

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