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How are atoms not in superposition if the electrons are

  1. Mar 24, 2014 #1
    From what I understand chemical bonds arrive from the transitions of electrons between atoms and some atoms for a period of time dont have electrons. I dont understand, I thought electrons were tied to specific atoms. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2014 #2

    ZapperZ

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    Where exactly did you understand this from? Were you taught this, or did it come from something you read?

    Zz.
     
  4. Mar 24, 2014 #3
    I read this online but whats the truth? Any clarification would be greatly appreciated. And by atoms I mean those not isolated from the enviorment.
     
  5. Mar 24, 2014 #4

    ZapperZ

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    I'd like to know the source. If you misread or misunderstood the source, then the rest of your question is moot, and it will be a waste of time trying to correct a non-existent concept. We should be correcting your misinterpretation of the source instead.

    Zz.
     
  6. Mar 24, 2014 #5

    stevendaryl

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    Partly the difference has to do with mass. An atomic nucleus is thousands of times more massive than an electron. Quantum effects are less noticeable for more massive objects. That might be the basis for whatever it is that you read.
     
  7. Mar 24, 2014 #6
    Quote Quote by batmanandjoker View Post
    But are some of the individual atoms or even cells inside my body in superposition?

    sci advisor nugatory
    Cells or even atoms? No. (OK, you can say "maybe" if you want, but as with my flying table we're talking "maybe" so small that it is might as well be "never").

    Individual electrons? Sure, happens all the time, it's part of how chemical bonds are formed.
     
  8. Mar 24, 2014 #7

    ZapperZ

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    And my immediate response here is to ask you why you didn't pursue this question right there and then, rather than starting a new thread that is out of context to the original situation? What thread is this from, and why didn't you get the clarification in that thread?

    Zz.
     
  9. Mar 24, 2014 #8

    BiGyElLoWhAt

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    The way I interpret superposition is as such:

    You have a really tiny object, so small you can't see it or detect it directly (such as an electron), and since we can't see it, we can't say exactly what state it is in, we have a good idea from our indirect measurements, but how accurate are our measurements? What exactly is happening to our object? Take the double slit for example:

    If we launch an electron at our interference device, which slit is it going to go through? left or right? we have virtually no way of knowing without interfering with the results even more. So what we say is (based on the interference and duality of particles in states of quantum superposition) that it goes through both slits at the same time.

    You say that atoms don't exist in superimposed states? Explain this to me then: Why do we experience the same interference pattern when we perform the double slit with much larger objects, such as hydrogen atoms?
    http://www.livescience.com/19268-quantum-double-slit-experiment-largest-molecules.html
    Check out this link, I might not be hitting your question right on the nose, but a lot of quantum effects do come from superposition, and this is one of them, demonstrated with molecules containing upwards of 114 atoms each!
    I hope this sheds some light.

    --BYH
     
  10. Mar 24, 2014 #9

    bhobba

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    There is one way, and one way only, to interpret superposition.

    The pure states form a vector space.

    That's it - that's all. All objects - subatomic particles, atoms, everyday objects, stars, galaxies, everything, obeys the laws of QM. The principle of superposition applies to them all.

    Why we 'generally' do not detect it in the macro world has to do with decoherence.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
  11. Mar 24, 2014 #10

    ChrisVer

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    Are you speaking about ion and dipole bonds?
     
  12. Mar 24, 2014 #11

    morrobay

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    Do a search for ionic bonds and covalent bonds. In ionic bonds an electron is transferred from one atom to another:
    H+ Cl-(aq) , Na+Cl-
    In covalent bonds electrons are shared, but not always with equal distance : H2O is a polar covalent bond.
    To clarify above in case of Hydrogen Chloride gas HCl (g) This is a covalent bonded molecule. In solution it
    is ionized to H+ Cl- and hydrated by water molecules.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
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