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Electron 'almost a perfect sphere' say researchers

Electrons are surprisingly spherical, according to researchers from Imperial College London.Any imperfections in an electron are less than 0.
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Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor on

Electrons are surprisingly spherical, according to researchers from Imperial College London.

Any imperfections in an electron are less than 0.000000000000000000000000001 cm, according to the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

"This means that if the electron was magnified to the size of the solar system, it would still appear spherical to within the width of a human hair," said an STFC statement on Thursday. STFC was one of the organisations that supported the Imperial College work.

Physicists used a laser to measure the motion of electrons inside Ytterbium Fluoride in an experiment which took almost ten years. The spin of the electrons showed no sign of a "distinctive wobble" which would have been there had the electrons been more imperfect.

The results of the experiment will feed into experiments testing antimatter and supersymmetry theories.

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