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Is an electron considered a singularity by some physicists?

  1. Aug 5, 2015 #1
    I read this book called How To Teach Relativity to Your Dog by Chad Orzel. In the book he discusses how an electron is known to have mass but is also considered a point like particle.

    He said that some interpretations consider the electron thus to have an infinitely dense mass which should generate gravitons, which gravitons should also have mass and thus generate gravitons. Thus this is quite a problematic interpretation.

    Other interpretations in quanum electrodynamics consider the electrons' aspect of the electrical charge in an infintesimal space so thus they should have infinite energy and this is problematic also though solved partially by having virtual particle - antiparticle pairs appearing and disappearing in the locality of the electron thus spreading the electron charge.thus avoiding energies with infinity values.

    Anyway my question revolves around shouldn't these supposed features of the electron resemble a black hole and its' singularity?? Myself, I thought there were a groups of physicists that found experimental or mathematical evidence that electrons were not point like but did possess some three dimensional spatial character?

    If all particles with mass are point-like then are they not microsingularities? What is the evidence that electrons and other particles are point-like?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2015 #2


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    Hypothetically, if we assume that an electon is a small sphere of radius let's say 10^[-24] m, would it be "full" or "empty"? Assume it was full. With what ? Assume a qurk-type internal structure. Devise a theory to explain this and make predictions and invent experiments to confirm your theory. If everything goes in your favor, you get yourself a Nobel. Has this been done yet? No.

    At this very moment, there is no shred of experimental evidence which would force us yo abandon the point particle model in classical physics and of a quantum field in quantum physics.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  4. Aug 6, 2015 #3


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    To the contrary! There is no classical fully satisfactory point-particle model of an electron! There are well-working approximations, used to, e.g., construct particle accelerators like the LHC, but there is no fully selfconsistent theory of the dynamics of charged point particles. The best model we have in this respect is relativistic quantum field theory (particularly quantum electrodynamics, QED), which is in a somewhat better state in the sense that you can define it in the sense of (resummed) perturbation theory.
  5. Aug 6, 2015 #4


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    There has been a related discussion in a recent thread, starting with http://[URL [Broken] post[/url].
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  6. Aug 7, 2015 #5


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    In current theory, the answer is no.

    However, beyond the standard model, it the resemblance between black holes and elementary particles has been discussed.

    Black Holes as Elementary Particles
    C.F.E. Holzhey, F. Wilczek

    Extremal Black Holes and Elementary String States
    Ashoke Sen
  7. Aug 7, 2015 #6
    The idea of running coupling in QFT is a direct negation of the idea that a particle is point-like. If particles were really point like (not having size), then coupling factors would be constant. The fact that they aren't means that particles somehow extend around.

    From classical analogies, electron as a non-uniform cloud is much better explanation than electron as a point.
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