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#1
Aug314, 01:36 AM

P: 100

Since, there is a probability of finding electron at any distance from the nucleus, when the electron comes far from the nucleus, I will block it, so that it won't return to its parent atom. Am I not stealing the electron? I can steal even the electron of your body being in India, be careful! That's what we layman think from those statements. What's the actual meaning of the wikipedia statement? 


#2
Aug314, 01:42 AM

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It means that if we perform a measurement to find out where the electron is, its location could technically be almost anywhere, including in India. But the probability of finding the electron further than about a nanometer from the nucleus is so low that you could perform this measurement every second for a billion years and not find it there.



#3
Aug314, 01:51 AM

P: 100




#4
Aug314, 02:01 AM

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P: 12,005

Stealing an electron
Have you checked the list of references at the bottom of the wikipedia article you quoted from?



#5
Aug314, 02:41 AM

P: 100




#6
Aug314, 03:04 AM

P: 100

The same question is also posted in Physics Stack Exchange. Interested folks can read this page: Can I steal your electron? The page might help to have better discussion.



#7
Aug314, 04:01 AM

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I don't have a specific source, it's just general knowledge how atomic orbitals work. My response wasn't meant to be taken literally, as I haven't done the math. I just know that the probability of an electron being found a few thousand miles away from its atom is exceedingly low. So low that we never worry about objects falling apart because they lose their electrons in this manner.



#8
Aug314, 08:03 AM

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http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydro...m#Wavefunction For the ground state electron this simplifies to a probability density of: $$\Psi(r)^2 = \frac{1}{a_0^3 \pi} e^{2r/a_0}$$ Since ##a_0=5.29 \; 10^{11} \; m## if you want to steal an electron in a 1 m cubic box located even just 10 m away, the probability is so small that it cannot be distinguished from 0 with even a million digits of precision, and the probability of finding it anywhere in the universe further than 1 m distance away is less than 1.6E16419451091 


#9
Aug314, 12:27 PM

P: 901

Meson, you have a very, very, very small chance. This chance is really too small to worry about in any context.



#10
Aug314, 09:51 PM

P: 100




#12
Aug414, 12:06 AM

P: 100

As there is the force which is holding the electron, it should not have any "probability" of going far from the nucleus, isn't it? How does QM tackle this discrepancy? 


#13
Aug414, 12:25 AM

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Understand also that the electron isn't anywhere until you interact with it. The function that DaleSpam posted does not give you the probability that the electron is at a given location, it gives you the probability that the electron will be found at that location if you make a measurement. Thus, there's no question about how the electron moved far away from the nucleus before you looked and found it out there  until you measured its position it didn't have a position, it wasn't far away from the nucleus, or near it, or anywhere else. That's how quantum mechanics works. If you don't like it, you're in good company  but like it or not, them's the rules. 


#14
Aug414, 01:20 AM

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I believe energy conservation in QM is a bit more complicated than it is in classical physics, but you'd need to ask in the QM forum if you want to know about that.



#15
Aug414, 01:45 AM

P: 100




#16
Aug414, 02:18 AM

PF Gold
P: 6,498

EDIT: just to be sure I'm clear, when I say "they have nothing to do with each other", I'm saying that the fact that an electron has a probability distribution that gives a nonzero (but incredibly tiny) result for positions far away from its atom has nothing to do with the HUP. 


#17
Aug414, 07:58 AM

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#18
Aug414, 08:11 AM

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