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Radius of the electron and uncertainty

  1. Sep 26, 2012 #1
    i thought that electrons are merely abstract thing or statistical entities, so i mitigated every attempt to visualize them as something that has a shape like a sphere, has a radius, internal structure,
    i thought that any attempt to measure a radius (if any) could result in uncertainty in measuring so we will never know actual radius
    until i found a lecturer talking about that there is a radius and electron can be visualized as small ball!!!
    What is wrong in my understanding?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2012 #2
    Yes, it can be a very small ball. Smaller than the classical electron now in fact.

    And yes, Lloyd Motz has suggested that the radius and mass of a particle are effected by the uncertainty principle.
  4. Sep 26, 2012 #3
    How come we can talk about shape!!?, without talk about internal structure
    i find difficulties in accepting this idea
    i think we must migrate the idea of shape when talking about elementary particles wich are almost point-like

    this is a support to my idea that we can't talk about anything like shape, volume, density, since all of these values that subject to the uncertainty principle
  5. Sep 26, 2012 #4


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    Science Advisor

    IWantToLearn, You are correct. An elementary particle like an electron is NOT a small ball. It's pointlike, which means its size (if it even has one) is too small to be observed.
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