Question

# What is the absolute mass and charge of an electron?

Solution

## The electron is a negatively charged particle having an absolute charge of - 1.6 x 10-19 coulombs. Since this is the smallest negative charge carried by a particle, so this is taken as the unit of negative charge, and we say that the relative charge of an electron is - 1. The charge of an electron is equal in magnitude but opposite in sign to the charge of a proton. A normal atom has an equal number of protons and electrons and since a proton and an electron have equal and opposite charge, an atom, on the whole, is electrically neutral. The electron is the lightest of the three atomic particles. The mass of an electron is about 1/1836 of the mass of a hydrogen atom (which is the atom 1836 of lowest mass). Since the mass of a hydrogen atom is 1 amu (1 atomic mass unit), we can say that the relative mass of an electron is 1/1836 amu. The absolute mass of an electron is, however, 9 x 10-28 gram. The electron in an atom possesses a certain amount of energy to maintain its distance from the oppositely charged nucleus. Without this energy, the electron would collapse into the nucleus ChemistryScience for Ninth Class - Part II - ChemistryStandard IX

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