How round is the electron and why does it matter?
2 November 2011
At our Kent Centre on 1 November, Dr Michael Tarbutt, of Imperial College London, gave a lecture concerned with the measurement of the electric dipole moment of the electron, which is an indication of the non-spherical nature of the electron.
The bicycle wheel in the photograph was used to demonstrate gyroscopic motion of the electron.
Although no conclusive results have yet been obtained , there are fundamental implications regarding time symmetry, the backward and forward flow of time, and the symmetry between matter and anti-matter.
As more accurate measurements become available the bounds on the magnitude of the dipole moment will be lowered and physicists await a conclusive result .