What is the meaning of the electron probability cloud?

I understood it to mean that the electron has a probability to be found in a certain postion before measurement, but now after reading experiments involving Schrödinger's cat type states (with bonding and antibonding gaps in $\mathrm{H_2}$ and molecule and squid measurements where the wavefunction interferes and separates out the bonding band from the antibonding band) and that this physical effect of the supercurrent moving in both directions across the squid junction proves the electron is really everywhere in the cloud, smeared out and not just a probability cloud, which interpretation is right?

Does the above experiement prove the electron is everywhere and smeared out in the wavefunction?


I don't think the term electron probability cloud has a precisely defined meaning. It's more of a metaphor meant to show that the electron does not have a well defined position.

Like any quantum particle the electron does not have a position until you interact with it e.g. scatter another particle off it. The interaction takes place around some position (I say around because the uncertainty principle means the position is never perfectly defined) and at that moment it makes sense to talk about the position of the electron. However prior to the interaction, and indeed after it, the electron simply doesn't have a position in usual macroscopic sense of the word.

| cite | improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.