0

The Electron Turns 120

This month is the 120th anniversary of electron theory! From Scientific American:

Electrons rule our world, but not so long ago they were only an idea. This month marks the 120th anniversary of a profound and influential creation, the electron theory of Dutch physicist Hendrik Antoon Lorentz. His electron was not merely a hypothesized elementary particle; it was the linchpin of an ambitious theory of nature. Today physicists are accustomed to the notion that a complete description of nature can rise out of simple, beautiful equations, yet prior to Lorentz that was a mystic vision.

For most physicists the memorable peak of 19th-century physics is the theory of electrical and magnetic fields, capped by James Clerk Maxwell’s mathematical synthesis of 1864. Then a haze settles, until the 20th-century massifs of relativity and quantum theory poke through. That foggy folk history obscures the bridge between—itself a brilliant achievement, built through heroic labor.


Lorentz’s achievement was to purify the message of Maxwell’s equations—to separate the signal from the noise. The signal: four equations that govern how electrical and magnetic fields respond to electric charge and its motion, plus one equation that specifies the force those fields exert on charge. The noise: everything else!

Now one had definite equations for the behavior of tiny bodies with specified mass and charge. Could one use those equations to rebuild the description of matter on a new foundation, starting from idealized “atoms” of charge? This was the burden of Lorentz’s electron theory. Starting with his 1892 paper, Lorentz and his followers used the electron theory to explain one property of matter after another—conduction of electricity and of heat, dielectric behavior, reflection and refraction of light, and more. Thus, they laid the groundwork for the subjects we now call electronics and materials science.

 


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 14,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython 2019!

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7:30pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/


Maker Business — Re-evaluating Amazon after its acquisition of Whole Foods

Wearables — It’s not a deal breaker

Electronics — Higher isn’t always better

Biohacking — Vitamin-C + Gelatin for Accelerated Recovery

Python for Microcontrollers — Supercharged Supercon with CircuitPython, Quoth the Raven MOAR PYTHON! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython #PythonHardware @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF @Adafruit

Adafruit IoT Monthly — The S in IoT is for Security, Amazon announces Sidewalk and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — Xenomorph candy bucket and spooky workshops with MakeCode!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.