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I am new to this site so please forgive my initial errors of form or protocol. It has been fascinating to read the many explanations of why electrons don't "fall" into the nucleus and how we need to adjust our perspective of subatomic particles from point charges to energy confined to wave functions. This is quite different from the physics that I learned in college back in 1976. This has generated a number of questions for me.

1) In many of the explanations the term "standing wave" is used. My knowledge of a standing wave is one where the endpoints are fixed; like a piano or violin string and only certain wavelengths are permitted. These wave functions are not fixed, are they?

2) Do the 2 electrons in a filled orbital or suborbital exhibit phase-like interference effects?

3) Do they exhibit harmonics like a more traditional standing wave?

4) If we are to think of electrons as more of a wave or packet of energy why do we use the term "spin"? Is there a component that is spinning? Or in some manner a mirror image?

Thank you for your time and attention and any help that you can provide.


marked as duplicate by John Rennie, Jon Custer, user191954, glS, Gert Feb 16 at 19:35

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  • $\begingroup$ The standing waves on a string are one dimensional. You can excite two-dimensional standing waves on the surface of water in a tub, and if you do that experiment, you will see that there are many more different patterns (a.k.a., "modes") that can exist on a 1-D string. The standing waves in quantum mechanics are three dimensional, and I don't know how you can visualize that exept maybe, in a computer simulation or something. $\endgroup$ – Solomon Slow Feb 7 at 17:29