Electrons' roundness frustrates researchers

Experiment finds no signs of asymmetry, which would point to undiscovered particles

By Andrew Grant, 12:53 PM December 19, 2013

Electrons are incredibly spherical, an experiment reveals, throwing into doubt popular theories that would add new species to the universe’s particle zoo.

Physicists determine the shape of electrons by measuring their distribution of charge, known as an electric dipole moment, or EDM. A perfectly spherical electron’s EDM would be zero. But according to quantum mechanics, other charged particles constantly popping in and out of existence exert subtle tugs that should deform electrons and create...

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