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Basics of electron travel

  1. May 31, 2005 #1
    Here are a few questions about quantum mechanics (Bohr’s atomic model).
    1. An electron is a particle revolving around the nucleus. So it should radiate energy (by classical mechanics). But if this energy comes from the orbital, it must finally become 0 and the electron must crash into the nucleus. Why does this not happen?
    2. Why does the energy in the orbits remain constant?
    3. During quantum jumping or an electron traveling between any 2 orbits, the electron must lose energy when it is between them in the atomic vacuum. Does this really happen?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2005 #2
    1. The lowest energy level of an electron around an atom is not zero (solution of Schrödinger equation).

    2. It doesn't.

    3. Don't know what you mean.
  4. May 31, 2005 #3
    Photon emission in energy state change maybe? But then it doesn't really lose the energy "while in anywhere" though.
  5. May 31, 2005 #4


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    When an electron drops from a higher energy state to a lower energy one, it does indeed emit a photon (or possibly excite another electron). As for your first two questions, they're resolved by quantum mechanics. The Bohr model (which you described) is not a correct view of the atom. There are probably a ton of posts on this already, so I suggest a search.
  6. May 31, 2005 #5

    Meir Achuz

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    Your basic difficulty is that you are trying to understand the atom on the basis of the Bohr model, which is oversimplified and essentially wrong.
    1. This was Bohr's motivation for his model. He postulated (out of his hat) the constraint mvr=nhbar for angular momentum in a circular orbit.
    This forbad continuous radiation that would destroy hydrogen in 10^-10 sec.
    2. This just follows from Bohr's ad hoc constraint.
    3. Questions like this demonstrate that the Bohr model is incomplete (at best),
    and had to be supeerceded by QM.
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