Glossary term: Electron

Description: An electron is a light elementary particle with one unit of negative electric charge. All the matter that we see around us is made up of atoms, and all atoms have the same basic structure: A tiny, dense nucleus that carries almost all of the atom's mass, surrounded by electrons. Electrons are conceptualized and represented as existing in concentric shells around the nucleus, and the structure of these shells is responsible for the ways that an atom can bind to other atoms, forming molecules. This is the physical basis of chemistry. In white dwarf stars, quantum properties of electrons provide the necessary pressure to keep such stellar remnants from collapsing under their own gravity.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition have been approved by a research astronomer and a teacher

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".