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Fall into nucleus?

  1. Feb 10, 2008 #1
    Why the electrons in an atom doesn't fall into the nucleus?

    May be because of wave-like building of the electron?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2008 #2


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  4. Feb 18, 2008 #3
    In classical physics the electron lose energy (E) when it accelerate (even centrifugal), by emission of electro-magnetic field dE/dt= - constant*(acceleration)^2 (look for Bremsstrahlung at wikipedia). Without this phenomena you could have classical electrons going in orbits around the nucleus, like planets around the sun.

    The solution is quantum mechanics and the photo-electric effect (google it!).

    The total energy of the electron + the energy of the (radiated) electromagnetic field is conserved. Therefore if an electron is stimulated to fall from a high quantized energy state to a lower one, the EM-filed must take that energy (the electron loose) ->a photon i emitted with this energy. But still, there is a ground state of the electron (the lowest possible), why emission of photons from this state is impossible.

    Spontaneous emission of photons is caused by the vacuum field , since the electro-magnetic field is quantized (QED-theory) dE*dB>constant, like the Heisenberg uncertenity principle.

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