Electron "Lifespan" is at Least 5 Quintillion Times the Age of the Universe

Basic physics suggests that electrons are essentially immortal. A fascinating experiment recently failed to overthrow this fundamental assumption. But the effort has produced a revised minimum lifespan for electrons: 60,000 yottayears, which is — get this — about five-quintillion times the current age of the Universe.


How a spritz of oil from a perfume bottle let scientists measure the charge of an electron

Can you find the charge of an electron in a spritz of oil? It seems like the subatomic world is too tiny ever to be meaningfully measured. But that's exactly what two scientists did in 1909. Find out how, with a box, a microsocope, a spritz of oil, and a sensitive voltage meter, people figured out the charge of an…