A nucleus made of protons and neutrons surrounded by a cloud of electrons equal in number to the protons.

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85
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8answers
10k views

Why does space expansion not expand matter?

I have looked at other questions on this site (e.g. "why does space expansion affect matter") but can't find the answer I am looking for. So here is my question: One often hears talk of space ...
78
votes
10answers
33k views

Why don't electrons crash into the nuclei they “orbit”?

I'm having trouble understanding the simple "planetary" model of the atom that I'm being taught in my basic chemistry course. In particular, I can't see how a negatively charged electron can stay ...
38
votes
4answers
5k views

What really cause light/photons to appear slower in media?

I know that if we solve the Maxwell equation, we will end up with the phase velocity of light being related to the permeability and the permittivity of the material. But this is not what I'm ...
82
votes
5answers
21k views

What does it mean for two objects to “touch”?

If you've ever been annoyingly poked by a geek, you might be familiar with the semi-nerdy obnoxious response of "I'm not actually touching you! The electrons in the atoms of my skin are just ...
20
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
6k views

How can the nucleus of an atom be in an excited state?

An example of the nucleus of an atom being in an excited state is the Hoyle State, which was a theory devised by the Astronomer Fred Hoyle to help describe the vast quantities of carbon-12 present in ...
9
votes
2answers
39k views

What is in the space between a nucleus of an atom and its electrons?

There is a common analogy about the structure of an atom, such as the nucleus is a fly in the centre of a sports stadium and the electrons are tiny tiny gnats circling the stadium (tip of the hat to '...
19
votes
2answers
10k views

Dumbed-down explanation how scientists know the number of atoms in the universe?

It is often quoted that the number of atoms in the universe is 10$^{70}$ or 10$^{80}$. How do scientists determine this number? And how accurate is it (how strong is the supporting evidences for it)...
35
votes
4answers
6k views

Has gravity ever been experimentally measured between two atoms?

Has there been any experiments, or are there any references, demonstrating gravity between atoms? If so, what are the key experiments/papers? Or if not, what is the smallest thing that has actually ...
131
votes
3answers
17k views

How does a knife cut things at the atomic level?

As the title says. It is common sense that sharp things cut, but how do they work at the atomical level?
20
votes
4answers
936 views

Is the electromagnetic spectrum discrete?

I'm just starting to learn physics and I have a question (that is probably stupid.) I learned that energy levels that the bound electron can have are discrete. I also learned that when an electron ...
17
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
9k views

How does electron move around nucleus?

I need to get a nice picture about how electron moves around nucleus? I find concept of probability and orbitals quite difficult to understand?
6
votes
2answers
628 views

Why and how, in QED, can excited atoms emit photons?

The quantum mechanics of the structure of atoms as determined by the electromagnetic forces inside them correctly describes the location and coupling of the different energy levels in essentially all ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Do we really not know why atoms 'decide' to produce a photon?

I was watching the Cosmos documentary where Neil deGrasse Tyson explained how certain energy photons get absorbed by an atom, which causes the electrons of that atom to climb into a higher energy ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Bohr Model of the Hydrogen Atom - Energy Levels of the Hydrogen Atom

Why the allowed (stationary) orbits correspond to those for which the orbital angular momentum of the electron is an integer multiple of $\hbar=\frac {h}{2\pi}$? $$L=n\hbar$$ Bohr Quantization rule of ...
7
votes
3answers
933 views

Why is a proton assumed to be always at the center while applying the Schrödinger equation?

Why is a proton assumed to be always at the center while applying the Schrödinger equation? Isn't it a quantum particle?
1
vote
4answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
7k views

Why isn't Hydrogen's electron pulled into the nucleus? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do electrons occupy the space around nuclei, and not collide with them? Why don’t electrons crash into the nuclei they “orbit”? From what I learned in chemistry, the ...
5
votes
2answers
18k views

What exists in the Space between quarks

Apologies to all if this has been asked before, I searched but was unable to find one similar. This is a question that has been bugging me for a while that i haven't really been able to find a ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

How can one describe electron motion around hydrogen atom?

I remember from introductory Quantum Mechanics, that hydrogen atom is one of those systems that we can solve without too much ( embarrassing ) approximations. After a number of postulates, QM ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Planetary model of atom still valid?

When I was in school, I learned (from Democritus) that an atom was similar to a solar system, with the nucleus being the sun, and the electrons being the planets. Of course, there are some ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What happens if we put together a proton and an antineutron?

A hydrogen nucleus consists of a single proton. A 2-hydrogen (deuterium) nucleus consists of a proton and a neutron. A tritium nucleus consists of a proton and two neutrons. This makes me wonder how ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

The Nucleus of an Atom

We know that the protons in a nucleus are positively charged, whereas the neutrons do not possess a charge; we also know that unlike charges attract. So why does the nucleus stay intact, even though ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

What is heat and how does it effect an atom?

What happens in the atom when it gets heated or cooled and turns into gas, liquid or solid? I just want to know how does heat affect an atom.
3
votes
4answers
361 views

How to explain what an electron is to someone new to physics? [closed]

I've got asked by someone who just graduated school and is about to start studying physics, what exactly is an electron, if it is not "a small ball rotating around the core of an atom". I couldn't ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the Mendeleev table explained in quantum mechanics?

Does anybody know if there exists a mathematical explanation of Mendeleev table in quantum mechanics? In some textbooks (for example in F.A.Berezin, M.A.Shubin. The Schrödinger Equation) the authors ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

The distance between touching objects

What is the distance between, say, a cup of coffee and the table it rests on? What is the distance between two touching hands?
6
votes
3answers
24k views

Why is the relationship between atomic number and density not linear?

What are the factors that affect the density of an atom?
0
votes
0answers
46 views

What is the largest distance for which the influence of the electric field of a single electron was measured?

I suppose that Rydberg atoms are the best way to find by experiments the largest distance of influence of the electric field of a single electron in a electric dipole. Furthermore how the electrical ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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 2,...
3
votes
0answers
136 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
142 views

What is meant by an excited atom?

I want to know how an atom is when it is excited. If an atom, due to collision of another fast moving atom, becomes fast moving as well, is that also an "excited state"?
54
votes
3answers
7k views

Is it possible to “see” atoms?

As per my knowledge, atoms are small beyond our imaginations. But there is an image on Wikipedia that shows silicon atoms observed at the surface of silicon carbide crystals. The image: How can we ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do we need 12 atoms to store 1 bit of data?

Recent research at IBM has found a way to store 1 bit of data in 12 atoms. While that is a big accomplishment compared to what we have today, it does seem like a waste to a non-physics eye like me. ...
6
votes
1answer
78 views

How does a lever magnify force? [duplicate]

I understand that energy is conserved when a force is applied to the end of a lever and magnified closer to the pivot point. However, I would like to know how it is the force is transferred and ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Turned to steel in the great magnetic field

This is obviously a "fun" question, but I'm sure it still has valid physics in it, so bear with me. How great of a magnetic field would you need to transmute other elements into iron/nickel, if that'...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How can we describe the electrons of multi-electron atoms (i.e. not Hydrogen) when equations/analytic solutions only exist for Hydrogen?

I've been digging into emission spectra of different elements and found that such things as the Rydberg equation, Bohr's model, and quantum mechanics can only fully describe the single electron in the ...
5
votes
3answers
468 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
472 views

Hydrogen atom: potential well and orbit radii

I happened to open up an old solid-state electronics book by Sah, and in it he says: "it is evident that the electron orbit radius is half the well radius at the energy level En" The orbit radius is ...
3
votes
1answer
810 views

Why electron clouds in atoms don't radiate? [duplicate]

I was reading that Bohr assumed electrons in orbit simply did not radiate, and my professor told me that the actual case is that electrons are clouds of probability. Even so, aren't they still moving ...
1
vote
1answer
185 views

How can we prove that the shape of atom is spherical? [closed]

i am looking for a derivation that can prove that the shape of an atom is spherical . I experimentally proved this statement but i need a theoretical way.
7
votes
2answers
785 views

Miniature Neutron Stars?

Is the nucleus of a carbon atom, for example, as dense as a neutron star? I read that neuton stars also contain protons. Thinking more broadly, are we surrounded by quadrillion of quadrillions of ...
5
votes
2answers
295 views

If mesons were stable could they form atoms?

if there were stable enough mesons similar to protons and neutrons could they capture electrons to form exotic elements. if not why is this not possible?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible to recover the old Bohr-Sommerfeld model from the QM description of the atom by turning off some parameters?

Is it possible to recover the old Bohr-Sommerfeld model from the QM description of the atom by turning off some parameters? Can we use Ehrenfest's theorem (or some other scheme) to reduce the QM ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Why are some elemental materials grey?

How does grey occur in elemental materials such as metals? I believe that grey arises from the simultaneous reflection and absorption of all colors of the spectrum (in different atoms of course), as ...
3
votes
4answers
925 views

Is there any significance of atomic orbitals?

We have been taught that the atomic orbitals we read about are probability density region of finding electrons of particular energies which are designated by the various quantum numbers. Since, there ...
2
votes
3answers
96 views

Demonstration that vibrating basic particles constitute non-vibrating individuals

I am a dilettante in physics; I ask for pardon for my confusion-causing (if any) terminology usage, and also for my imprecise choice of question tags. I know that basic particles of any individual ...
2
votes
2answers
720 views

What is Quantum jump of an electron?

Can any one define quantum jump 9 quantities jump of an electron ? I know it it is a silly question but can anyone please explain me in detail.I am a learning about the structure of atom and I want ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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, however,...