Electron cloud vs. Nucleus

  • Thread starter dirtyd33
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  • #1
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Hi, I had a previous post "Total Energies" asking about the total energy of an electron and proton separately in a "stable," ground state, hydrogen atom and I got no response (well one short one). Later I realized an isolated hydrogen atom is not stable; it at least needs to bond into H2, but even then it is a highly in-stable/ reactive, gas. I decided I would rather like to know the total mass-energy of the electron cloud vs. the nucleus of either a ground state helium atom or ground state iron-56 atom. Again, this is because I couldn't find enough relevant information elsewhere. Thanks.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Drakkith
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Would it not be the rest mass of the components minus the binding energy?
 
  • #3
Rap
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A single hydrogen atom is stable as long as it is alone. When its in a gas state with other hydrogen atoms, then its unstable, forming H2 which will be stable. If you throw in some oxygen atoms, then the mixture is unstable, it will form water molecules slowly or explosively. Then that will be stable. If you throw in some sodium atoms, it will become unstable again, forming lye (NaOH) and oxygen. That will be stable. Then throw in some chlorine atoms, and its unstable again, forming salt (NaCl) and water. It goes on and on and on.
 

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