An electron is a subatomic particle which is generally thought to be an elementary particle because it has no known components or substructure.

Like all elementary particles, electrons exhibit properties of both particles and waves.

  • Electrons play an essential role in many physical phenomena such as electricity, magnetism, chemistry and thermal conductivity, and they also participate in gravitational, electromagnetic and weak interactions.
  • Electrons have an important role in electromagnetism because they have a surrounding electric field, and in motion generate a magnetic field.
  • Electrons radiate or absorb energy in the form of photons when they are accelerated.
  • Electrons can collide with other particles and can be diffracted like light.
  • The wave properties of electrons are easier to observe with experiments than those of other particles like neutrons and protons because electrons have a lower mass.