# Elementary Charge

(redirected from Charge of the electron)

## elementary charge

[‚el·ə′men·trē ‚chärj]
(physics)
An electric charge such that the electric charge of any body is an integral multiple of it, equal to the electron charge.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

## Elementary Charge

e, the smallest electric charge known in nature. The existence of the elementary charge was first mentioned with certainty by the British scientist G. Stoney in 1874. Stoney’s hypothesis was based on the laws of electrolysis established by M. Faraday (1833–34). In 1881, Stoney was the first to calculate the magnitude of the electric charge of a univalent ion, equal to e = F/NA, where F is the faraday constant and NA is Avogadro’s number. In 1911 the elementary charge was established by R. Millikan through direct measurements.

The presently accepted value of e is

e = (4.803242 ± 0.000014) × 10–10 cgse units

= (1.6021892 ± 0.0000046) × 10–19 coulomb

The magnitude of the elementary charge is the constant of the electromagnetic interactions, which appears in all equations of microscopic electrodynamics. The elementary charge is exactly equal to the electric charge of the electron, proton, and nearly all other charged elementary particles, which by virtue of this fact are the material carriers of the smallest charge in nature.

The elementary charge cannot be destroyed, and it is this fact that constitutes the content of the law of conservation of electric charge on the microscopic level. There is a positive and a negative elementary charge; in this case, an elementary particle and its antiparticle have charges of opposite sign. The electric charge of any microsystem and of macroscopic bodies is always equal to an integral multiple of the quantity e or to zero. The reason for such “quantization” of charge has not been established. One hypothesis is based on the existence of Dirac monopoles (seeMAGNETIC MONOPOLE). A hypothesis positing the existence of particles with fractional electric charges—quarks—has been much discussed since the 1960’s (seeQUARK and ).

### REFERENCE

Millikan, R. A. Eleklrony (+ i –), protony, fotony, neitrony i kosmicheskie luchi. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939. (Translated from English).

L. I. PONOMAREV

References in periodicals archive ?
Charge of the electron, and the constants of radiation according to J.
The fine-structure constant is an amalgamation of several other constants, including the charge of the electron, the speed of light and the Planck constant, all smooshed together into one fraction, with a value of about 1/137.
Spintronics is based on the charge of the electron, as in traditional electronics, but also on its spin, which determines its magnetic moment.
where e is the charge of the electron, [T.sub.e] is the electron temperature, k is the Boltzmann constant, [theta] is the capturing parameter, and L is the thickness of the sample.
A hydrogen atom consists of a proton and an electron, and its antimatter counterpart, antihydrogen, consists of a positron and an antiproton, both with the opposite charge of the electron and proton respectively.
The total cross section for this spin flip is on the order of [4[pi]([gamma][e.sup.2]/[m.sub.e][c.sup.2])] = 3.6b[3] ([gamma] = -1.91 is the gyromagnetic ratio of the neutron, e is the charge of the electron, and [m.sub.e][c.sup.2] is the electron mass), which gives a spin-flip scattering probability of order 6 X [10.sup.-6].
It equals 2[pi][e.sup.2]/hc, where e is the charge of the electron, h is Planck's constant, and c is the speed of light.
The ratio of the electric charge of the electron to its mass had been worked out and compared with that of ordinary ions by Thomson (see 1897).
Charge of the electron, and the constants of radiation according to J.A.Wheeler's geometrodynamic model.
1913 Robert Millikan publishes results of his famous oil-drop experiments, which determine the charge of the electron.

Site: Follow: Share:
Open / Close