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Atomic Oscillations

  1. Apr 11, 2008 #1
    What is being discussed when frequency is used to describe atoms? Or maybe I should be thinking nuclear oscillations....In other words, the wave function of what?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 12, 2008 #2
    electrons? protons?....
  4. Apr 14, 2008 #3
    what exactly is oscillating in an atom or molecule?
  5. Apr 14, 2008 #4
    You cannot have "spin" without "frequency".
    Just as earth cannot have "rotation" or "orbit" without the cycle period of “day” and “year”.

    As to “what exactly is oscillating in an atom”

    I’m sure IF you can find or provide an exact and complete description of what an atom is; any on this forum would gladly point out “what exactly is oscillating”.

    Actually I’m also sure that only doing so for the attribute of “Spin” would be enough to find the answer you seek.

    I’m just as sure you will not be able to find or provide such a description.
    Science “knows” spin is there, but no one really “knows” what it is to give an “exact” answer.
  6. Apr 14, 2008 #5
    classically, the electron is said to be rotating around the nucleus, but this yields radioactive decay and electrons spiraling into nuclii almost instantly. but the model is still used in some contexts for the easiest explaination of some phenomena.

    once you start talking about optics and the ability of atoms to oscilate when driven by EM waves, then there is some sense in oscilating atoms.

    there is also vibration and rotation modes of excitation, both of which have a type of frequency, and thus oscilation.

    you can also imagine an atom repeatedly excited, and electrons producing photons with some regularity... so many emmisions per second or something
  7. Apr 14, 2008 #6
    thanks for the insight
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