At the end of last month, the Advanced Cold Molecule Electron Electric Dipole Moment experiment, significant for world physics, was held at Harvard. But, due to the complexity of the interpretation of its essence and results, information in the media leaks out slowly. Scientists tried once again to “see” and measure the shape of the electron, but the accuracy of the instruments was still not enough, and therefore the particle, as it was, remains conditionally “round”.
Initially, the electron was considered a point in space, without structure and shape, but with a pronounced negative charge. Then, as science developed, a small angular momentum and a very tiny magnetic field were added to it, which became a problem. For a magnetic field to arise, two different poles are needed, at least somewhat spaced apart from each other. That is, the electron must have a certain, albeit negligible, diameter - this parameter is called the electric dipole moment (EDM).
Both the size of the electron and its shape depend on the EDM, for example, it can look like a pear or a rugby ball. The Standard Model predicts that this is so - even the calculated theoretical value of EDM is known 10 -38 cm. It remains to confirm, or even better to refute this in practice, in order to obtain new information. Alas, although physicists from Harvard managed to measure the EDM with an unprecedented accuracy of 10 -29 cm, they still "saw" only a circle. Therefore, officially the electron is round, although this is a paradox.
What is the cause of despondency? To acquire a complex shape, an electron must be influenced by so far unknown subatomic particles, which are very interesting to find - or at least to confirm that they really exist and affect the microcosm. Further, the Standard Model describing the EDM of an electron is full of gaps and theoretical physicists have long dreamed of getting a good reason to officially refute its postulates in order to propose new models and theories. Alas, the electron is still round.