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Is it possible for an electron to reside in an energy level lower than that of the ground state? What happens to the electrons when an atom is brought down to 0K , do they come closer? What happens to the left of the orbitals ?


marked as duplicate by G. Smith, tpg2114 Jun 2 at 22:08

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  • $\begingroup$ What does "to the left of the orbitals" mean ? $\endgroup$ – StephenG Jun 2 at 11:34
  • $\begingroup$ The comments were really helpful and yeah I got the answer from an article ,I still am having a hard time getting the entropy thing related to this but yeah this article theglobeandmail.com/amp/technology/… me feel way better about the problem $\endgroup$ – Ahitagni Jun 2 at 17:38

As pointed out in a comment by another user in a previous post by you, you cannot have an electron occupy a lower energy state than the ground state. The ground state is the lowest energy state by definition.

As for the electron “coming closer” that’s more ambiguous in QM since we’re working with probabilities and not clearly defined positions. But in the ground state of say, the hydrogen atom, the radial probability for the electron is greater closer towards the center (although goes to zero again near the very center), meaning it is more probable to “measure” the electron around there. So in some sense this corresponds to your seemingly classical intuition about the electron coming closer to the center.

It’s important to remember though that absolute zero is physically impossible to achieve.

I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “to the left of orbitals”, however.


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