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)

14
votes
8answers
2k views

Where did Schrödinger solve the radiating problem of Bohr's model?

One of the problems with Bohr's theory to describe the hydrogen atom, was that the electron orbiting around the nucleus has an acceleration. Therefore it radiates and loses energy, until it would ...
37
votes
5answers
4k views

Why are most metals gray/silver?

Why do most metals (iron, tin, aluminum, lead, zinc, tungsten, nickel, etc.) appear silver or gray in color? (What atomic characteristics determine the color?) What makes copper and gold have ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

If photon energies are continuous and atomic energy levels are discrete, how can atoms absorb photons?

If photon energies are continuous and atomic energy levels are discrete, how can atoms absorb photons? The probability of a photon having just the right amount of energy for an atomic transition is ...
8
votes
4answers
675 views

Huge confusion with Fermions and Bosons and how they relate to total spin of atom

I am supremely confused when something has spin or when it does not. For example, atomic Hydrogen has 4 fermions, three quarks to make a proton, and 1 electron. There is an even number of fermions, ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Does it exist a free good molecule / atom simulation software?

I'm looking for a software or software package (for example C/C++) that can simulate a lot (say thousands at least) of molecules in action (ie. in movement or attached to say static walls). I have ...
3
votes
1answer
590 views

Why do most metals appear silver in color with gold being an exception from a scattering and EM viewpoint?

Related: Why are most metals gray/silver? After reading Johannes’ impressive answer to Ali Abbasinasab question of why do most metals appear silver in color with the exception of gold (and copper), ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What keeps electrons in an atom from flying away or falling into the nucleus?

In atoms, what force or charge, etc. keeps electrons from flying away or into their nucleus? is there a kind of weak-force at work on the atomic scale? Note I am aware the electron positions are ...
6
votes
4answers
995 views

Intrinsic structure of electron

The electron contains finite negative charge.The same charges repel each other.What makes electron stable and why does it not burst? Is it a law of nature that the electron charge is the smallest ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Which experiments prove atomic theory?

Which experiments prove atomic theory? Sub-atomic theories: atoms have: nuclei; electrons; protons; and neutrons. That the number of electrons atoms have determines their relationship with other ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Does there exist electric field around all the substances?

A system of two equal and opposite charges separated by a certain distance is called an electric dipole. Electric dipole moment ($p$) is defined as the product of either charge ($q$) and the ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

How to absorb a characteristic line in a spectrum

I have an x-ray tube. When I see the spectrum, I notice the characteristic lines of the anode. What do I have to do if I want to absorb a characteristic line? I have thought that I can add a filter. ...
-2
votes
2answers
453 views

How is the speed of light an absolute maximum speed in the universe? [closed]

Under the heading which came first, the chicken or the egg, which came first: the maximum velocity of electrons orbiting the atom, or the speed of light as the maximum velocity limit? Is it possible ...
58
votes
2answers
9k views

Why doesn't matter pass right 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
905 views

What do we actually mean when we say that matter is a wave?

What do we actually mean when we say that matter is a wave? What does the wavelength of this matter wave indicate? The idea of a particle behaving like a wave is kinda incomprehensible to me. ...
10
votes
5answers
413 views

Does an electron move from one excitation state to another, or jump?

I'm wondering, when an electron changes state, does it move from one state to another over some (very small) time period? Or does it change from one state to another in no time? If the former, what ...
6
votes
4answers
185 views

What's is the origin of Orbital Angular Momentum of electrons in atoms?

Consider the Hydrogen 1s electron. We know that, in the quantum picture, the electron isn't orbiting or rotating at all, rather we simply state that the electron is spread over the entire space with ...
4
votes
3answers
255 views

Do electrons in multi-electron atoms really have definite angular momenta?

Since the mutual repulsion term between electrons orbiting the same nucleus does not commute with either electron's angular momentum operator (but only with their sum), I'd assume that the electrons ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Which green spectral line(s) are emitted in a Thomson tube?

Related: What is meant by boiling off electrons in a heater coil? In the Thomson tube we used in our class to produce an electron beam, the lab manual stated that the tube was filled with a low ...
2
votes
1answer
320 views

A Simple Explanation for the Schrödinger Equation and Model of Atom? [closed]

I tried reading the Wikipedia article to no avail - I simply cannot understand the Schrödinger Equation (what does each of the variables mean, especially the wave function), and the Schrödinger Model ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

Why do covalent bonds form?

why in a covalent bond are "the bonded electrons are in a lower energy state than if the individual atoms held them at the same proximity"? Also is it correct that " I think when you start pushing ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

If atoms never “physically” touch each others, then how does matter-antimatter annihilation happen?

It is known that matter and antimatter annihilate each others when they "touch" each others. And as far as I know, the concept of "touching" as our brain gets it is not true on the atomic level since ...
2
votes
1answer
285 views

Is it that electron of an atom can be found anywhere in the space?

Simple pictures showing orbital shapes are intended to describe the angular forms of regions in space where the electrons occupying the orbital are likely to be found. The diagrams cannot, ...
2
votes
3answers
501 views

Disproving a refutation of quantum mechanics (QM) via a calculation of the ground state of the helium atom

This website http://www7b.biglobe.ne.jp/~kcy05t/ appears to refute Quantum mechanics using some proof. An important paper involved is this 'Calculation of Helium Ground State Energy by Bohr's ...
1
vote
4answers
262 views

Why is the Bohr's idea of defined circular orbits overruled?

If we consider a thought experiment for determining position of an electron by using photons of light. According to principles of optics, if we use light of wavelength $\lambda$, then the position of ...
6
votes
1answer
699 views

Is Palladium an exception?

I have been taught in school that atoms cannot have more than 8 electrons in the outer shell. Palladium atom's electron configuration is 2,8,18,18. Why isn't it 2,8,18,17,1 like the case of Platinum ...
4
votes
2answers
223 views

Is the photon energy required to cause an atomic transition $\Delta E+\Delta KE$, where $\Delta E$ is the “transition energy”?

An atom "at rest" can absorb a photon, and while some of this energy goes into increasing the energy level of the electron, momentum must be conserved, and so some energy must also increase the ...
3
votes
2answers
165 views

Principle of Reflection on atomic level

The well observed phenomenon has besides several others has always been a fascination to me, we are well aware of several theories, experiments and practical applications of the well known phenomenon. ...
2
votes
2answers
45 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

An electron in $s$ state

If an electron is in $s$ state, for example in 1s state for Hydrogen or 5s state for Silver atom, $\ell=0$. So,its total angular momentum $L$ is also equal to 0. So, what is electron actually doing in ...
2
votes
0answers
87 views

What are the assumptions behind “term symbols”?

In multi-electron atoms, the electronic state of the optically active "subshell" is often expressed in "term symbols" notation. I.e. $^{2S+1}L_J$. This presumes that the system of electrons has ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Resonating frequencies of atoms

I have a mathematics and computer science background with very little physics. I have read that the resonating frequency of an atom of some element is always exactly the same as the resonating ...
1
vote
2answers
118 views

How exactly do protons and electrons interact with each other?

How do these particles exchange information about charge and position between themselves, even though there's mostly empty space between them? Also what happens if a free electron passes closer to a ...
1
vote
2answers
724 views

Continuous vs. Discrete Spectra in various materials

I read that the reason solids emit continuous spectra is that they don't have time to let their electrons decay-they are too close together. Given that electrons decay on the order of 100 nanoseconds ...
1
vote
1answer
192 views

Can atoms have nonzero dipole moments?

Let's make the question easier by considering two-level atoms(with spin states, i.e. spin up $|\uparrow\rangle$ and spin down $|\downarrow\rangle$). An article I recently read claims that atoms do not ...
1
vote
1answer
765 views

Energy required for ionizing Helium

The energy required to remove both electrons from the helium atom in its ground state is 79.0 eV. How much energy is required to ionize helium (i.e., to remove one electron)? ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Where do electrons get the energy to remain in orbit? [duplicate]

As we know electrons continuously revolve around the nuclus without falling in it at a high velocity beating it's force of attraction. My question is where do electrons get energy to revolve around ...
1
vote
1answer
826 views

Explanation of energy levels in molecules, atoms, nuclei and their relationship

Why are the energy levels of molecules, the atoms that form them and the nuclei inside the atoms considered separately? Or phrased in a different way- what is it that makes their energy levels so ...
0
votes
3answers
92 views

question on dipole moment of water molecule

I read a line today and don't get it: "Molecules with mirror symmetry like oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and carbon tetrachloride have no permanent dipole moments." ...