What Is the Part of the Atom That Accounts for Electricity?


Quick Answer

According to Encyclopædia Britannica, the electron is considered the basic unit of electricity within an atom. The electron carries a negative charge and is the lightest stable subatomic particle. As the electron is so small (1/8,430 the mass of a proton), it is not calculated when determining atomic mass number.

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Full Answer

Electrons move over the atom's nucleus in patterns called orbitals. The attraction between the electrons and the nucleus keeps the electrons from leaving their path of orbit. The electron's orbit is looser as the distance increases between the electron and the nucleus. Atoms called ions, which can be positively or negatively charged, are determined by how many electrons are present.

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