I thought it would be "as many electrons", because electrons is a countable noun, but Google shows that "as much electrons" is more popular than "as many electrons"

  • It would be a challenge to count those electrons, won't it? – Lior Kogan May 2 '15 at 12:13
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    Ngram doesn't even find "as much electrons". And a lot of your hits for "as much" appear to be from Oriental authors, suggesting that "as much" is the idiom there. "As many electrons" is the correct term in the US (and probably the UK). – Hot Licks May 2 '15 at 12:16
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    @Lior: If I have my Heisenberg right, one could google or count them but not both ;-) – David Pugh May 2 '15 at 15:11
  • Dorgan: That Google shows "as much electrons" to be more common than "as many electrons" utterly astounds me, and not in a good way. – David Pugh May 2 '15 at 15:13
  • If you actually count the number of results for each it's 53 and 172 respectively (although I didn't bother to filter duplicate results in either of these totals). In other words (as I've said many timed before) when Google says "about N results", it's a very very poor estimate. – Laurel Apr 6 '18 at 22:27

You're right. Electron is a countable noun, and once it's pluralised to electrons it needs many.

Mass/uncountable nouns are always singular: as much furniture as possible; or charge or space or current or gravy.

The only countable noun I can think of which might take much is "mushy peas". But again, mushy peas come as an amorphous blob of green stuff. It's literally a mass noun.

  • Vestiges of "pease"? – phoog May 2 '15 at 13:47

It would be as many electrons.
If google shows as much electrons, it would be the most popular form.
Just because it is the most popular form, doesn't mean it's correct.
Scince an atom's number of electrons is countable, many is needed.
If it was as much as you can fit somewhere, it wouldn't be countable so you would say as much.
I hope this was of use to you.

  • Why wouldn't it be 'as many as you can fit in there'? It's still countable right? Even if the number is infinite you could say 'you can fit infinitely many electrons in there', right? – JJJ Apr 6 '18 at 18:56
  • No. Because an atom can only hold a certain amount of electrons. – William Pennanti Apr 7 '18 at 9:46
  • Nobody said anything about atoms. What about the number of electrons that could fit in a litre? Is that bound above? suppose the litre is full of atoms with the maximum density of electrons, could you still add an electron? Maybe some gamma radiation? – JJJ Apr 7 '18 at 11:57
  • It's because the only place you would describe electrons are in atoms or in colliders where you have singular electrons. – William Pennanti Apr 8 '18 at 9:29
  • What about electrons in space? The number of electrons per unit of volume might be important for protecting satellites (probably along with other parameters). See this article by NASA. – JJJ Apr 8 '18 at 16:45

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