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The electron is a particle with a negative electric charge commonly found in the outer layers of atoms. The electron is one of a class of subatomic particles called leptons which are believed to be fundamental particles (that is, they cannot be broken down into smaller constituent parts). The word "particle" is somewhat misleading however, because quantum mechanics shows that electrons also behave like a wave, e.g. in the double-slit experiment; this is called wave-particle duality.

The antiparticle of an electron is the positron, which has the same mass but positive rather than negative charge. The term negatron is sometimes used to refer to standard electrons so that the term electron may be used to describe both positrons and negatrons. Under ordinary circumstances, however, electron refers to the negatively charged particle alone.

The electron is a fermion, meaning it has a 1/2 spin.