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Electron remain as particle in atoms?

  1. Jul 14, 2010 #1
    I guess I'll take pot luck and ask another question here. I think I read somewhere that the current thinking is that the electron remains as a point or particle, even when it "orbits" an atomic nucleus. Yet I thought that deBroglie's contribution was that the electron is some sort of standing "wave" when orbiting a nucleus. Aren't those two things incompatible? Doesn't a standing wave require some sort of extended structure in space? So my questions are:

    1. Is the current thinking that the electron is a point particle in the atom?
    2. If so, what is the evidence for that?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2010 #2


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    No. Yes.

    The wave-particle dualism holds in an atom, too. Under normal circumstances, the wavelike proerties are donminating its appearance, but if you look at high energy scattering, you'll find a point particle.

    Yes. No.
  4. Jul 17, 2010 #3
    So in high energy scattering the electrons appear as particles? What is being scattered, other electrons? The only thing I can find are the Rutherford experiments with alpha particles hitting gold foil, etc. Can you recommend any papers or books? (I don't have access to grad school resources...) Thanks.
  5. Jul 17, 2010 #4


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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
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