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Why are electrons negative?

  1. May 24, 2014 #1
    Are electrons negative to anything? Did we notice two different charges and decide to label them like we did with left and right?

    I'm very curious to know why we brand electrons as negatively charged.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2014 #2
    Strictly convention.

    For example, the convention in electrical circuits is to assume the electrons move from +ve to -ve terminals. This would only happen if the electrons were positively charged.
     
  4. May 24, 2014 #3

    jtbell

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    Staff: Mentor

    It goes back to Benjamin Franklin's experiments on what we call "static electricity", although he didn't know about electrons:

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=3888392#post3888392
     
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