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electron

[ih-lek-tron] /ɪˈlɛk trɒn/
noun
1.
Also called negatron. Physics, Chemistry. an elementary particle that is a fundamental constituent of matter, having a negative charge of 1.602 × 10 −19 coulombs, a mass of 9.108 × 10 −31 kilograms, and spin of ½, and existing independently or as the component outside the nucleus of an atom.
2.
Electricity. a unit of charge equal to the charge on one electron.
Origin
term first suggested in 1891 by Irish physicist G. J. Stoney (1826-1911); electr(ic) + -on (from the names of charged particles, as ion, cation, anion) with perhaps accidental allusion to Greek ḗlektron amber (see electric)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for electrons
  • The top floor houses an accelerator that generates high-speed electrons.
  • Most people learned in school that these particles are atoms, composed of neutrons, protons and electrons.
  • Solar cells work by the action of light on electrons.
  • Positrons are the antimatter counterpart to electrons.
  • Super-intense lasers can boot bunches of electrons from the inner region of atoms, according to a new study.
  • As they do so, the electrons that were paired with them in the anode during the charging process are released.
  • Most so-called normal matter is made of subatomic particles such as electrons and protons.
  • Both beams are generated when electrons are accelerated in a straight line, the complex process that gives the machine its name.
  • When sunlight hits the cells, it knocks electrons loose from their atoms.
  • The negatively charged electrons migrate to the wire, where they emit coherent beams of microwave radiation for the radar signal.
British Dictionary definitions for electrons

electron

/ɪˈlɛktrɒn/
noun
1.
a stable elementary particle present in all atoms, orbiting the nucleus in numbers equal to the atomic number of the element in the neutral atom; a lepton with a negative charge of 1.602 176 462 × 10–19 coulomb, a rest mass of 9.109 381 88 × 10–31 kilogram, a radius of 2.817 940 285 × 10–15 metre, and a spin of 1/2
Word Origin
C19: from electro- + -on
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for electrons

electron

n.

coined 1891 by Irish physicist George J. Stoney (1826-1911) from electric + -on, as in ion (q.v.). Electron microscope translates German Elektronenmikroskop (1932).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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electrons in Medicine

electron e·lec·tron (ĭ-lěk'trŏn')
n.
Abbr. e
A stable subatomic particle in the lepton family having a rest mass of 9.1066 × 10-28 gram and a unit negative electric charge of approximately 1.602 × 10-19 coulomb. Also called negatron.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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electrons in Science
electron
  (ĭ-lěk'trŏn')   
  1. A stable elementary particle in the lepton family having a mass at rest of 9.107 × 10-28 grams and an electric charge of approximately -1.602 × 10-19 coulombs. Electrons orbit about the positively charged nuclei of atoms in distinct orbitals of different energy levels, called shells. Electrons are the primary charge carriers in electric current. Compare positron. See also electromagnetism, elementary particle, ion. See Table at subatomic particle.

  2. A positron or a negatron. See more at negatron.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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electrons in Culture
electron [(i-lek-tron)]

An elementary particle with a negative charge and a very small mass. Electrons are normally found in orbits around the nucleus of an atom. The chemical reactions that an atom undergoes depend primarily on the electrons in the outermost orbits (the valence electrons).

Note: The movement of large numbers of electrons through conductors constitutes an electric current.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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