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, ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

1
vote
5answers
722 views

How does the electron jump across “gaps” in its orbital?

I saw on perhaps COSMOS, and have heard mention from other professors, that electrons sort of "teleport" or something, in their orbital and the quantum level. So looking at the orbitals for a lone ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Why is the full eigenfunction a product of eigenfunctions and not a sum?

For example suppose there is a two electron system. Why is the full eigenfunction a product of the spatial eigenfunction and spin-wave-function for the two electron system?
2
votes
1answer
164 views

Question about atom subshells

So my teacher told me that EACH shell contains 5 subshells (s, p, d, f, g) but what I don't understand is this The 1st shell has only 1 subshell (and not 5 like he said) and the number of ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Eigenfunctions for $1s$ hydrogen Schrodinger equation

I am a computer scientist and started my Phd in material science. The second course os my Phd is material simulation by computer. One the task is show the verification of the eigenfunction $1s$ from ...
0
votes
1answer
604 views

Why does electron move closer to the nucleus when it emits light and not vice-versa?

The book tells me that electrons move more close to the nucleus when emission occurs and it moves far away from the nucleus when absorption occurs: why it's not vice-vers? As I understand, the ...
1
vote
0answers
90 views

Stimulated emission and coherence

For a significant part of my life I have been taught that, if a photon of the "correct" energy meets an excited atom, the atom will then (with a certain probability) undergo transition to a lower ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Bond Angles - H2O vs CO2

H2O has a 109.5 degree bond angle, but CO2 has exactly 180 degrees. Is there a qualitative reason for this? It's hard to believe CO2 is exactly 180 degrees unless there were some symmetry, but the ...
2
votes
3answers
355 views

Why can't electrons fall into the nucleus?

I read a book on pop sci book on quantum mechanics and the author said that electrons do not fall into the nucleus due to quantum mechanics- which principles suggest this (I think it was Heisenberg's ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

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.
1
vote
1answer
262 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
74 views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
83 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

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?
3
votes
3answers
2k 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 $5 eV$ ...
2
votes
3answers
94 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
73 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
233 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
205 views

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: $\sigma$=$E^{L+1/2}$. ...
1
vote
2answers
123 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

How does exciting an electron's surrounding electromagnetic field cause 'electron excitation'?

In more meaningful words than the ones above, how does adding energy to the EM field cause the electron to to change orbitals or oscillate in a different pattern.
4
votes
2answers
589 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
185 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
140 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
186 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

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 ?
3
votes
2answers
83 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

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 ...
86
votes
3answers
15k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
153 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

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, ...
7
votes
2answers
222 views

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 ...
8
votes
4answers
710 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
58 views

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 ?
1
vote
1answer
119 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

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?
2
votes
2answers
93 views

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 ...
17
votes
2answers
272 views

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, ...
1
vote
3answers
102 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

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.
1
vote
1answer
109 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

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 $$H_2 = \sum_{\mbox{open subshells}} \xi(r_i) \vec{l_i}\cdot\vec{s_i}$$ ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

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 ...