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Electrons in 4 dimensions

  1. Oct 14, 2012 #1

    This is basically just an observation I expect it to be laughed at (already has been laughed at in the mensa forum) but you know what they say - the only stupid questions are the ones left unasked and what better way to put it to rest than to ask some real hard core physicists...

    I was reading an article about probability densities of electrons and one of the pictures struck me because I was reminded of some other stuff I had been reading about higher dimentional shapes - in this case a 3-sphere.

    Here are 2 pictures for comparison:

    IF there is anything to this, it brings up another question of 'spooky action at a distance' (sorry I cant remember what the proper name for is). If 2 electrons are able to (interact? - or whatever it is they do after whatever it is gets done to them), could it mean that they are somehow aligned on the same 'plane' like the plane in the picture where the radius is infinite (straight line)?
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2012 #2


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    What do you mean they are aligned in the same plane? For any two particles I can easily construct more than 1 plane for them to both be in since there is no preferred orientation.

    Also, there is a post in the general or classical physics forum right now that talks about what a Force is that you may want to look at.
  4. Oct 19, 2012 #3
    Forget that part. (note to self: reign in the really really wild stuff a bit before talking to sensible people).

    What my post should really say is more like: Wow what an interesting coincidence that those 2 pictures have some similarities. Could there possible be anything to this? I ask because I believe that higher dimensions can explain alot of things. Another example is something I read years ago (cant even remember where) about certain crystalline structures having 4 and even 5 dimensional symmetry where the organisation appeared simply chaotic in only 3 dimensions.
  5. Oct 19, 2012 #4
    I don't see any similarity whatsoever.
  6. Oct 19, 2012 #5
    Many of the individual images in the top picture seem to fit with one of the bottom 3 in the bottom one
  7. Oct 19, 2012 #6


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    The devil is in the details.

    You need to keep in mind that just because a cow looks like a sphere from very far, it doesn't mean that it is a sphere. You are simplifying this way too much. This is fine, but then you are trying to draw some profound conclusion out of such a coarse view. This makes it not only illogical, but also wrong.

    For example, the orbital clouds drawn in the top picture, you will notice, have different colors. That is trying to convey that the orbital wavefunction being depicted have different phase from each other! This representation is utterly absent in those lines being drawn in the bottom figure. These phases in the wavefunction is absolutely important, and chemistry will be a very puzzling subject without such a thing.

  8. Oct 20, 2012 #7
    Thankyou ZapperZ. Thats a good answer, and a curiosity laid to rest :)
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