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Atom Question

  1. Jan 19, 2008 #1
    Simple question here, I know where the protons, neutrons etc. are, but what I can't seem to find anywhere is what I have labeled "X" in my poorly drawn diagram. Everywhere I look it calls it an "electron cloud" is that all it can be described as because we don't actually know exactly what is in there other electrons?

    http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/329/atomya0.png
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2008 #2

    malawi_glenn

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    I dont know either, and I dont know why you call this "High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics" ;P

    Maybe you have labeled "X" as a photon leaving the atom, i.e a deexcitation. These photons are called characteristic X-rays.
     
  4. Jan 19, 2008 #3
    I posted it here after reading the forum description.

    "Physics of nuclei & elementary particles"

    I'm talking about the "space" or "electron cloud" that is in between the electrons.
     
  5. Jan 19, 2008 #4

    malawi_glenn

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    But howabout the forum for atomic physics?.. elementary particles are EVERYTHING, so should we talk about everything here? No only things that are dealing with theories and phenomenon about Nuclear and Particle physic. i.e SUBatomic physics. Maybe you are not a physics-student? Now you know this.

    So what is your question? First I thought you was asking what you meant by 'X', and I said that I cant know what you draw in your diagrams :P

    Or are you asking why the atom has a "electronic cloud" ?

    "Everywhere I look it calls it an "electron cloud" is that all it can be described as because we don't actually know exactly what is in there other electrons?" - strange sentence...
     
  6. Jan 19, 2008 #5
    What is in the electron cloud, minus the electrons.
     
  7. Jan 19, 2008 #6

    malawi_glenn

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    nothing.

    (i.e vacuum and some virtual force mediating particles between the electrons and protons)
     
  8. Jan 19, 2008 #7
    Thanks.
     
  9. Jan 26, 2008 #8
    By your understanding = no heat in there then.
     
  10. Jan 26, 2008 #9

    ZapperZ

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    What does "heat" have anything to do with what is being asked in this thread?

    Zz.
     
  11. Jan 26, 2008 #10
    I think the OP was just confused about the term "electron cloud". You mixed up two ways of looking at an atom. In one way, you can see it as a nucleus with electrons encircling it, like Bohr drew. But that doesn't explain everything, so stuff got a lot more confusing and now we have an atom model where there are no electrons in the form you're used to. No particles. On quantum level, they just can't be seen in the way we see them. It is more wave-like, and there's a certain probability for it being on a specific spot (the uncertainty principle says you can never be sure where exactly). The "electron cloud" you talk of, is basically the area that holds a 90% chance of having the electron there.
     
  12. Jan 26, 2008 #11
    Thank you very much.
     
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