Atomic physics is the field of physics that studies atoms as an isolated system of electrons and an atomic nucleus. It is primarily concerned with the arrangement of electrons around the nucleus and the processes by which these arrangements change. This includes ions as well as neutral atoms and, ...

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Formation of atoms question

Could you please, explain to me the logic of the folllowing process as you would do to your 8 y/o sister: Ubiquitousness and stability of atoms relies on their binding energy, which means that ...
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How would the universe change?

How would the universe be modified if protons (as we know them) have negative charge and electrons (as de know them) have positive charge.
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Total Angular Momentum of a Hydrogen Atom

Griffiths in his celebrated book named 'Introduction to Quantum Mechanics' discusses about the total angular momentum of a hydrogen atom on page 187. He writes: If a hydrogen atom is in the ...
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Do atoms produce synchrotron radiation?

Since synchrotron radiation is created when charged particles are radially accelerated and electrons are definitely orbiting a nucleus (assuming a Bohr model), electron should then logically emit ...
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Why is metallic hydrogen degenerate matter?

Why is metallic hydrogen considered a form of degenerate matter, akin to neutronium and electron-degenerate matter? I can understand that for the other two, degeneracy pressure is the only force ...
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Uncertain if invoking uncertainty principle for wave function is handwaving [duplicate]

Why doesn't the electron collapse onto the proton in a hydrogen atom? One explanation seems to be given by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which follows from the purely physical assertion that ...
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Maximum voltage on metal sphere? [duplicate]

What is the maximum voltage that can be put on a metal sphere before electrons fly off it or the metal itself explodes due to electrostatic forces?
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396 views

Negative energy levels in the diagram for a hydrogen atom

The higher the number of the shell (n), the higher is the energy level of the electron. However, why was it necessary to have negative values. So for example, when $n=1$, the energy could be $5 eV$ ...
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Ionization by heating

I would like to ask what happens if an atom exposed to a very high temperature - say millions of degrees (Kelvin). Can we use heating to separate electrons from their nucleus? And what happens to the ...
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Why don't atoms emit gravitational waves?

Atom's do not seem to emit gravitational waves. But they do contain changing mass quadrupoles, though very small ones. Obviously, the probability for emission of such waves is very small, as the ...
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Why do the electron in Bohr's principal quantum levels or ground state do not emit radiation? [duplicate]

Bohr said that only certain orbits of definite energy are allowed inside the atom. He said that the electrons in their ground state do not emit radiation and that they will emit radiation when they ...
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Spectral series' formula of a given atom (other than hydrogen-like)?

The hydrogen spectral series is given by the Rydberg formula: The energy differences between levels in the Bohr model, and hence the wavelengths of emitted/absorbed photons, is given by the ...
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Is the energy of a photon continuous/discrete?

I was struggling today with this question: does a free photon have a continuous energy spectra? Free means in no context of any energy system (eg. an atom, em field). Although I'm asking myself if ...
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Wigner Threshold law in Photodetachment and Photoionization

I am writing this question here because I have a problem in understanding the Wigner Threshold law in Photodetachment and Photoionization. The Wigner Threshold Law is given by: $\sigma$=$E^{L+1/2}$. ...
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Stability of the hydrogen atom and positronium

I am trying to get a better understanding of why positronium decays while a hydrigen atom is stable. In the case of positronium, I can write an elementary process were the leptons annihilate into two ...
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Neil deGrasse Tyson says that electrons “teleport” between energy levels?

This page: https://blog.afach.de/?p=62 Discusses the error Neil deGrasse Tyson made when talking about electronic transitions (video included there). Tyson clearly said in his Cosmos series that ...
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A question about atomic clocks

I have a rather simple question about atomic clocks. I have read that: Microwave radiation with a frequency of exactly 9.192.631.770 cycles per second causes the outermost electron of cesium-133 ...
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Can I steal your electron?

The following paragraph has been extracted from the Wikipedia (Atomic orbitals): Simple pictures showing orbital shapes are intended to describe the angular forms of regions in space where the ...
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What does the $y$-axis represent in the atomic spectra and what is its significance?

The picture is an emission spectrum of Helium. The spectrum has sharp lines (peaks) at certain wave lengths characterizing it as helium. Agreed that it characterizes Helium as atomic spectral line ...
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Maintaining local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) in radiating gas with a broad atomic transition line

Definitions / Background In LTE, Kirchoff's law for radiation holds: $$ \frac{j_{\nu}}{\alpha_{\nu}} = B_{\nu} (T) $$ where $j_{\nu}$ is the specific radiative emissivity, $\alpha_{\nu}$ is the ...
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What is it that makes an electron maintain a distance from the positively charged nucleus? [duplicate]

What is it that makes an electron maintain a distance from the positively charged nucleus? Why aren't electrons merely pulled into and absorbed by the nucleus ?
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How does weight add up to press on things?

I think I understand how pressure works with gases. More molecules bouncing around -> more random impacts -> stronger force. But I realized to my embarrassment that I don't understand how solid ...
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Polarizable molecule in E-field

If we have a linear molecule with a dipole moment $\mu$ in a static electric field $E$, the potential is given by $V = - \langle \mu,E \rangle$. What is the appropriate equation for the potential if ...
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Why doesn't matter pass through other matter if atoms are 99.999% empty space?

The ghostly passage of one body through another is obviously out of the question if the continuum assumption were valid, but we know that at the micro, nano, pico levels (and beyond) this is not even ...
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Intermolecular Hydrogen Bonding

I learnt about intermolecular hydrogen bonding today, which occurs between molecules such as ortho-nitro-phenol. What I was told is that in case of intermolecular bonding, the molecules separate from ...
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Atomic Physics - Bohr's model of atom

Well I'm learning about the models that have been proposed for the atom, and the Bohr model came up. My teacher told me that the one of the main postulate of the theory is that when an atom is in ...
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Does the definition of the SI unit “second” require that possible perturbation of primary frequency standards should be measured?

The definition of the SI unit "second" is stated as The second is the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground ...
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Two-photon absorption and 3rd order susceptibility

I am referring to introduction of Section 12.5 Multiphoton Absorption and Multiphoton Ionization (Page no. 550 of Nonlinear Optics, Boyd-3rd edition) where it has been said that the two-photon ...
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Measuring Atomic Radius of a Noble Gas

How exactly can you measure the atomic radius of a noble gas such as Neon or Helium accurately? Would liquefaction help? I also heard that the aforementioned gases are the only common elements which ...
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Atomic physics - lattice energy

Question: Why is ionic lattice energy inversely proportional to the radius of the atom? Most heterogeneous covalent molecules are polar to some extent. The degree of polarity, or the dipole moment, ...
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Why is salt so hard to remove from water?

Water molecules and various salt molecules are very different. However, it seems very difficult to separate the two. Once a salt is dissolved in water, an energy or chemical intensive method (like ...
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Hot water freezing faster than cold water

This question has puzzled me for a long time. There is already a question like this on Physics.SE. John's answer to the question seems quite satisfying. But when I googled the cause I found this and ...
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Formation of atoms [closed]

If a Proton goes toward an Electron with a trajectory that forms a circular motion, these particles will form an atom ?
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Atomic physics question - exciting of electrons during bonding

As I have learnt, when bonding takes place in an atom, such as carbon, the electron in its $s$-subshell gets excited and jumps to the open spot in the $p$-subshell. This is why carbon is able to form ...
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Do metals have their distinctive look because of the electron sea which surrounds the metal atoms?

are metals shiny because of the electron sea which surrounds the atomic lattice of the metal sample. are metals more shiny because the electron are more evenly distributed on the surface?
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Is an object's color/shine/texture dependent on its electrons only? If electrons are same then why are there so many different colors?

when we look at an object be it a metal or a non-metal are we looking at its electrons only, so then if all electrons are same then why do different chemicals or elements or objects have different ...
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Why does sand stick to my shoes?

Well, that's easy: the sand is wet, and my shoes are wet, and hydrogen bonding adheres the wet sand to my wet feet and to my shoes. But then I walk home, and my shoes dry, and the sand on them dries, ...
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internal conversion and the electromagnetic force

I have read that the mechanism behind internal conversion, in which a nuclear transition leads to the ejection of an electron in one of the lower atomic orbitals, is related to the fact that the ...
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Any simple reason why Helium in the ground state is diamagnetic?

I know the electrons are in the spin singlet state, and the spatial part of the wave function is an S-state. But that is not sufficient for it to be diamagnetic.
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What causes the triplet state in Helium?

I am not familiar with the notation used on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triplet_state). Is there a more physcial way to explain the cause of the triplet state (maybe without referencing ...
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Computing fine structure of terms in LS coupling,

In order to compute the fine structure of the terms in LS coupling (Russell-Saunders coupling), we must treat the hamiltonian $$H_2 = \sum_{\mbox{open subshells}} \xi(r_i) \vec{l_i}\cdot\vec{s_i}$$ ...
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Atomic physics - photoelectric emission

I understand that when photoelectric emission occurs: $$h\nu = h\nu_o + K.E.$$ Where $\nu_o$ represents the threshold frequency. What I don't understand is what happens if the frequency is just equal ...
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Why photoelectron imaging is a 'complete' measurement?

In many articles and books, it says that photoelectron imaging gives a 'complete' information. What is mean by 'complete' measurement or a 'complete' information? Through photoelectron imaging ...
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Most atoms have a nonzero magnetic moment, right?

This is my feeling. But more is different. If atoms form a solid, it is hard to say whether the solid will be ferromagnetic or not.
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EXAFS (Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure) question?

EXAFS (Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure), core electron is excited to the conduction band. The oscillations in the absorption coefficient persist for 100s of eV after the edge. Taking ...
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Can a single atom explode?

Does the definition of an atomic explosion require the interaction of two or more atoms, or can a single atom be the source of an explosion? Another way of phrasing the same question. Can there be an ...
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How does gamma ray emission make an atom more stable? [duplicate]

One of the types of radioactive emissions is gamma emission. I understand how the other two types, alpha and beta, help to make the atom more stable. How exactly does gamma emission help to make the ...
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How to distinguish between the spectrum of an atom in motion and the one of a scaled atom?

Galaxies are moving dragged by the space expansion. When atoms are in motion the doppler effect will shift the spectra of the emitted photons. The proton-to-electron mass ratio, $\frac{m_e}{m_p}$ ...
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113 views

What is a real world application of Madam Curie's life work?

As in the title. I know she was working with radioactive atoms and she made huge progress in the field of physics. But where would you find the application of her discoveries in our world? Is it just ...
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Quantum mechanics scattering theory

When an electron absorbs energy and jumps to the another excited state by absorbing the photon and why it is always said that the electron will come back to $\hbar\omega/2$? Why doesn't the electron ...