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According to recent measurements made by Purdue physicists, an electron may not be a simple point charge, as previously thought. Instead, the particle may be thought of as being at the center of a fuzzy “cloud,” as in this artist’s conception, where the electromagnetic force increases toward a central core. The “cloud” consists of virtual particles, which wink in and out of existence in pairs Ñ one particle positively charged (blue), the other negatively charged (yellow). (Graphic courtesy Dennis Harp, Purdue Physics Department.)
Color graphic, electronic transmission, and Web and ftp download available. Photo ID: Koltick/Electron

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