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Simple Electron Question.

  1. Dec 2, 2009 #1
    Ok,am a noobie and trying to understand how exactly electrons work.
    So,if we have object A with ,say,8 atomic nucleus number and 10 electrons (that means that the object A is negatively charged) and we have object B with 10 atomic nucleus number and 8 electrons( the opposite,here the object is positively charged,i guess).
    Good,if we rub these two objects to eachother and 3 electrons transfer from object A to B making Object A positive and object B negative.
    Is that correct?
    And,when are positrons made? and why?
    One more,the electrons travel from the object that has more electrons to the object that has less or travel from the negative to positive?
    And what's the reason they 'fly' from one atom to another?

    ok these are many questions but they are easy for most people here to answer.
    ty (:
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2009 #2


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    Not necessarily. When we talk about the atomic numbers and the number of electrons we are mainly talking about atoms, not a bulk object. The means that atoms will bond to share electrons is a complicated mechanism that is probably beyond what you are asking. Basically, there are preferred electron configurations for the orbitals in an atom. To achieve these preferred configurations, an atom may strip itself of valence electrons to become an ion and other atoms may try to gain electrons to become an ion as well. In this case, these oppositely charged ions will bond in an ionic bond that gives rise to a neutral molecule. Another form of bonding is covalent bonding where the atoms that bond are neutral but they form a hybrid orbital that shares electrons between them.

    What you seem to be talking about is the ability to create a static charge on a bulk material. For example, some materials are easy to strip electrons from. We can use these, like a piece of wool, to rub an insulator and build up electrons on the insulator. A Van de Graaf generator is an interesting device that works off of a similar principle (though we continually supply the electrons from an electrical source).

    Positrons are the electron's anti-particle. They are made when we create electrons out of energy. That is, if we have a photon with a high enough energy, through the equivalence principle of relativity, we can turn the energy into mass which results in an electron-positron pair (they are always produced in pairs in this manner). These can also be produced in more complicated high energy physics reactions.

    The underlying reason why electrons migrate is due to the Coulombic attraction/repulsion. If I have an object with a net negative charge, then it will give rise to an electric field. This electric field describes how charged particles will react to the net charge we have. If we have positive charges, they will be attracted towards our net negative charge, but negative charges will be repelled.
  4. Dec 2, 2009 #3


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    "Simple Electron": an oxymoron if ever there was one!
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