Discussion in 'The Science Forum' started by 123, Nov 13, 2012.

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  1. 123

    123 LE

    Is there any way that electrons are visible? If electrons can't be seen, how do we know they exist? Anybody know?
  2. You can see and measure the effect of them moving with the correct equipment. single electron spins have been measuered and single electron orbitals have been observed and filmed.
  3. Take an atom, hit it with a GBFO hammer, get your magnifying glass out and look at all the little electrons scurrying about.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. We can't see them, but we can see where they've been, a bit like air, you can't see the wind, but you can certainly see the effects.
  5. 123

    123 LE

    Have they? I never knew that they have been observed and/or filmed. I just saw something that told me that if an atom was blown up to where the nucleus was the size of the earth, an electron would only be around the size of an apple.

    If this be true then, considering how small an atom itself is, having a microscope powerful enough to see the relatively puny electron particle sounds a bit out of the scope of capability. I hear also that an electron travels at around 3/4s the speed of light. Putting the two together - the electrons size and the electrons speed - how do we know there are such things as electrons?

    I think its by some sort of vapour trail type thing, am I correct?

    Edit: sorry, think I misunderstood your original response.
  6. 123

    123 LE

    well put
  7. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    The scanning tunnelling microscope can see (and manipulate) atoms.

    Scanning tunneling microscope - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Imaging electrons may be more difficult - owing to the wonders of quantum mechanics they sometimes behave more like an wave than a particle. In fact the quantum mechanical world is seriously weird.

    Some of the scientists who worked on it were world class eccentrics. I've always liked Richard Feynman - anyone who plays drums in a strip club as well as winning the Nobel prize is OK by me.

    Richard Feynman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  8. You cannot observe the electron visually it's too small to image, but you can see it's path as it passes through a cloud chamber. This experiment used to be demonstrated at comprehensive schools when I did physics many moons ago but given the quality of teaching nowadays I'd be surprrised if any school still has the equipment to show students the process, they probably rely on the internet for such things now.
  9. 123

    123 LE

  10. 123

    123 LE

    Just saw something that said they can pass out of existence and then back into existence just like that and that they can be in two places at once. It looks like they have no fixed path, no fixed orbit, they are purely random
  11. Not exactly electrons have a predictable motion through the magnetic field that is part of the experiment, however if your implying that things get weired at the quantum level you'd be quite correct. Electrons and other so called fundamental particle can and do behave as if the were a particle and a wave often displaying both properties at the same time. Thats really hard to get your head around but without such properties we wouldn't have the world we see around us now.
  12. 123

    123 LE

    could it be possible that they are actually two separate but interconnected things? The wave and particle?
  13. It is possible that there is not any such thing as an electron, but there is something else which displays all the properties of the thing which we call an electron, so we just call that thing an electron instead.