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Electrons and atomic collapse

  1. Nov 11, 2016 #1
    I have a simple doubt to keep things clear.
    Why doesn't electrons fall into the nucleus of an atom?
    Is it because of the high velocity of electrons?
    If so, at what velocity will the electron be slow enough to collapse into the nucleus?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 11, 2016 #2

    BvU

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    Hello Allen,

    You can just google your question to get a link that discusses it.
     
  4. Nov 11, 2016 #3

    Borek

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    Why doesn't Earth fall into the Sun?

    (And no, it is not directly applicable here, but I just wonder where the question comes from).
     
  5. Nov 11, 2016 #4

    BvU

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    I think Allen is asking a sensible question and deserves an understandable answer. Earth has angular momentum that keeps it orbiting around the sun. Electrons in the lowest energy levels don't have that and still don't annihilate the nucleus. Imagining them as charges orbiting a nucleus poses problems that kept brilliant physicists busy for quite a while.
     
  6. Nov 11, 2016 #5

    Ygggdrasil

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    From: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/electron-proton-attraction.345518/#post-2393864
     
  7. Nov 11, 2016 #6
    Sometimes they actually do that.
     
  8. Nov 11, 2016 #7

    Borek

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    No doubt about the fact question deserves an answer. However, the way you have expressed the situation requires mixing two levels of understanding - one rather basic (Earth orbiting the Sun has angular momentum) and one rather sophisticated (electrons in the lowest energy level don't have angular momentum). I find it quite unlikely that the OP asks the question knowing these peculiarities (I will be happy to accept the fact I am wrong here, I am basing my opinion on the experience). My bet is we will get a better chance of answering knowing where the problem comes from, as the planetary model - with all its shortcomings - will do in some cases.
     
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