I was curious as to whether or not an electron has a
volume. So I looked it up in a table of physical constants and it
mentioned that the "Electron classical radius" is 2.81794092e-15 m. So
question I have is how was this radius determined? Via experimental
observation or through some more indirect route?
(FYI, I happened to come up with the same number using an indirect method
and I'm curious whether I just happened to stumble upon the same methods
that were already known and used.)
The idea behind the classical electron radius is that a classical
distribution of charge totalling the electron's charge would have
electrostatic potential energy equivalent to the electron's rest mass
if it were confined to a volume of this radius.
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Update: June 2012