Light and Electrons!

International Year of Light Blog

Electrons are fundamental particles and play an important role in most of the physical phenomena spanning from static electricity to complex chemical and nuclear reactions. Although the existence of this negatively charged entity was theorized in the first half of the 18th century (1)(2), it was discovered by Sir J.J.Thompson in the year 1897 in the form of cathode rays.(3) This discovery is considered to be a highly important for the development of science and technology. The flow of these tiny particles is what drives the sophisticated electronic and electrical equipment, which have become an integral part of life.

Aurorae are mostly caused by energetic electrons precipitating into the atmosphere. Aurorae are mostly caused by energetic electrons precipitating into the atmosphere. Credit: Samuel Blanc / Wikimedia Commons

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