Homework Help: How electrons show wave phenomenon within an atom?

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1. Jan 28, 2016

Parveen

what is wave and how electrons show wave phenomenon within an atom. like in Px or Py or Pz orbital how electrons interchanged from one dumble to another?

2. Jan 28, 2016

Suraj M

Interchange from one dumbbell to the other?
Firstly these dumbbell shapes are just representations of the space where the probability of finding the electron is high. That's what I've understood, but I'm not certain about it

3. Jan 28, 2016

Parveen

Definitely it's the probability of finding the electrons, but electrons can't stand still there they keep moving and moving from one dumble to another (i guess). and they are moving so fast that instead of determining their exact position we can only determine their probabilistic position. I have doubts about the trace followed by electrons of the atom while moving around nucleus in the P-orbital

4. Jan 28, 2016

blue_leaf77

If the atom is isolated and is initially in one of the stationary states, part of which are associated to the types of orbital Px, Py, and Pz, then it will stay in this state (i.e. does not change to the other orbital shape) until interaction with vacuum field forces the electron to undergo spontaneous emission where it will go to the ground state.
The absence of the deterministic measurement of position is not caused by the electron being too swift for us to "catch" in place with high success rate, instead it is a consequence of the fundamental law of nature, which is manifested as a commutator between position and momentum. You can see this by considering an example where you have two wavepackets in momentum space at $t=0$: $\psi_1(p) = A \exp\left(-p^2/\sigma_P^2\right)$ and $\psi_2(p) = A \exp\left(-(p-p_c)^2/\sigma_P^2\right)$. These two wavepackets correspond to the an electron which kind of stand still and to an electron which kind of move with velocity $p_c/m$, moreover they also have the same momentum uncertainty. If you calculate the position space wavepacket, you should find that they have identical uncertainty in space, although one is not moving and the other is.
No, you can't find the trajectory of an electron around the nucleus.

Last edited: Jan 29, 2016