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Trouble understanding electron orbit

Adam_Godzilla
Posts: 2,487
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1/15/2015 11:44:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I've read many sources explaining the orbit of an electron around the shell however I still don't understand it. The books say if the electron is orbiting traditionally, it would lose energy due to it radiating a quanta (packets of energy) which therefore means it collapses into the universe. Solutions to this claim that the elctron is a wave and that there is a specific distance it must orbit around the nucleus. This is the bit I don't understand. Thanks to anyone who can explain this a little more simplisticly.
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Adam_Godzilla
Posts: 2,487
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1/16/2015 1:32:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/15/2015 11:44:06 PM, Adam_Godzilla wrote:
I've read many sources explaining the orbit of an electron around a nucleus. However I still don't understand it. The books say if the electron is orbiting traditionally(in the sense of planets orbiting the sun), it would lose energy due to it radiating a quanta (packets of energy) which therefore means it collapses into the nucleus. Solutions to this claim that the elctron is a wave and that there is a specific distance it must orbit around the nucleus. This is the bit I don't understand. Thanks to anyone who can explain this a little more simplistically.

Fix'd
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Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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1/18/2015 7:48:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/15/2015 11:44:06 PM, Adam_Godzilla wrote:
I've read many sources explaining the orbit of an electron around the shell however I still don't understand it. The books say if the electron is orbiting traditionally, it would lose energy due to it radiating a quanta (packets of energy) which therefore means it collapses into the universe. Solutions to this claim that the elctron is a wave and that there is a specific distance it must orbit around the nucleus. This is the bit I don't understand. Thanks to anyone who can explain this a little more simplisticly.

First of all, you are talking about the "Rutherford-Bohr" model of the atom which is considered obsolete and has been replaced by the "Valence Shell" model. In the Valence Shell model the electron doesn't actually orbit the nucleus, the "orbital" is a standing wave pattern around the nucleus, something like a shell of energy potential in which you can map electron density and energy levels.

Second, you need to understand that the Bohr model of the atom was just a way of conceptualizing atomic behavior in classical terms, with electrostatic forces keeping electrons in stable orbits around the nucleus at discrete distances and energy levels. But the thing to understand is that it was a conceptual model to aid in understanding, only a way of thinking about the mathematics of atomic behavior. The electrons in the model are not actually "particles" in the classical sense and consequently, classical electromagnetic theory doesn't actually apply to the electrons and their orbits. In the Bohr model, quantized energy changes occur when electrons jump from one orbital shell to another, but the conceptual "particle" moves from one orbital shell to another without traveling the distance in between, which is certainly not something a classical particle subject to classical forces does.
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Adam_Godzilla
Posts: 2,487
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1/19/2015 3:09:54 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/18/2015 7:48:39 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 1/15/2015 11:44:06 PM, Adam_Godzilla wrote:
I've read many sources explaining the orbit of an electron around the shell however I still don't understand it. The books say if the electron is orbiting traditionally, it would lose energy due to it radiating a quanta (packets of energy) which therefore means it collapses into the universe. Solutions to this claim that the elctron is a wave and that there is a specific distance it must orbit around the nucleus. This is the bit I don't understand. Thanks to anyone who can explain this a little more simplisticly.

First of all, you are talking about the "Rutherford-Bohr" model of the atom which is considered obsolete and has been replaced by the "Valence Shell" model. In the Valence Shell model the electron doesn't actually orbit the nucleus, the "orbital" is a standing wave pattern around the nucleus, something like a shell of energy potential in which you can map electron density and energy levels.

Second, you need to understand that the Bohr model of the atom was just a way of conceptualizing atomic behavior in classical terms, with electrostatic forces keeping electrons in stable orbits around the nucleus at discrete distances and energy levels. But the thing to understand is that it was a conceptual model to aid in understanding, only a way of thinking about the mathematics of atomic behavior. The electrons in the model are not actually "particles" in the classical sense and consequently, classical electromagnetic theory doesn't actually apply to the electrons and their orbits. In the Bohr model, quantized energy changes occur when electrons jump from one orbital shell to another, but the conceptual "particle" moves from one orbital shell to another without traveling the distance in between, which is certainly not something a classical particle subject to classical forces does.

I see now. Thank you, that explains a lot. So the Bohr model is not used anymore and now we're using a Valence Shell model. Then how does the Valence Shell model explain the electron moving from one shell to another?
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