Electron energy

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I understand that an electron can gain and lose energy, but before this, the electron is spinning around the nucleus of an atom. Since motion requires energy, what is the energy that keeps the electron spinning.

Further- since there is loss in every system- if no energy is applied or taken from an electron spinning in orbit, will the electron eventually lose it's orbit or is that the only example of perpetual motion?
 

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ZapperZ
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I understand that an electron can gain and lose energy, but before this, the electron is spinning around the nucleus of an atom. Since motion requires energy, what is the energy that keeps the electron spinning.

Further- since there is loss in every system- if no energy is applied or taken from an electron spinning in orbit, will the electron eventually lose it's orbit or is that the only example of perpetual motion?

Please start by reading the FAQ thread in the General Physics forum.

Zz.
 
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Andrew Mason
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I understand that an electron can gain and lose energy, but before this, the electron is spinning around the nucleus of an atom. Since motion requires energy, what is the energy that keeps the electron spinning.
That is the ground state energy. The minimum amount of energy that an electron in the atom can have is not zero. You will learn about this in quantum mechanics.

Further- since there is loss in every system- if no energy is applied or taken from an electron spinning in orbit, will the electron eventually lose it's orbit or is that the only example of perpetual motion?
No. Its motion is perpetual. But that does not make it a "perpetual motion machine" in the sense that it violates the first or second laws of thermodynamics. That term is actually a misnomer. It should be called a "perpetual energy consuming machine". Perpetual motion does not violate any law of physics (eg. planetary motion). Perpetual energy consumption does. Keeping the electron moving in its ground state does not involve the supply or consumption of energy.

AM
 

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