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Atomic partons?

  1. Oct 16, 2009 #1
    Let us consider an atomic orbital, for example n=2, l=1, m=0 in Hydrogen. The probability plot is given in the figure attached. This picture can be obtained experimentally: via X-ray and elastic electron scattering. Each negative sub-cloud carries a fractional charge. Fortunately, we have quantum mechanics to explain it but if the scattering experiments had been carried out before QM establishing, would we have advanced a parton-like hypothesis for atoms?

    I do not know if it would be correct to consider each sub-cloud as an "elementary" particle with a fractional charge. Do you?
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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
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  3. Oct 16, 2009 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    It's no more correct than to say that the left half of the 1s distribution has charge 1/2 and the right half also has charge 1/2.
     
  4. Oct 16, 2009 #3
    I did not understand your phrase.

    I wanted to say that considering each sub-cloud as originating from some elementary particles (atomic partons) would be misleading.
     
  5. Oct 16, 2009 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    Dividing the orbital into "subclouds" is imposing your sense of pattern recognition on it. There's nothing whatsoever like a particle with fractional charge.
     
  6. Oct 17, 2009 #5
    This pattern can be observed experimentally, can't it?

    Why we advance a parton model for protons? Following the experimental pattern.
     
  7. Oct 17, 2009 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    Bob, this is silly. An electron has charge -1. The fact that it has a probability distribution doesn't mean anything has a factional charge.
     
  8. Oct 17, 2009 #7
    I completely agree with you. Concerning atoms, I speak of a purely hypothetical situation. But it is similar to the deep inelastic scattering interpretation, isn't it?
     
  9. Oct 17, 2009 #8

    Vanadium 50

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    No Bob, it has nothing whatsoever to do with fractional charge and DIS.

    I have answered your question four times now. This thread is done.
     
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