# 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

### jfizzix

Just as a classical wave can be expressed as a sum over normal modes, a quantum wave can be expressed as a sum over orbital modes.

When you measure the energy and angular momentum of an electron in an atom, you get a single result, and the state related to that single result is a single orbital. Even though at one time the state of an electron is purely in one orbital, interactions with other particles and the environment may cause the state of the electron to slowly change over time so that it becomes a sum over multiple orbitals again. When the state of the electron becomes a sum over multiple orbitals, it becomes likely that when you make later measurements, you get different results, corresponding to different orbitals.

3. Jan 28, 2016

### Drakkith

Staff Emeritus
I don't think electrons are interchanged between dumbbells or lobes. Those are simply probability maps which show you where an electron is likely to be found. Until you make a measurement you don't know where the electron is. I don't think you can even say that it has a set position.

4. Jan 28, 2016

### PietKuip

The p_x and p_y are standing waves, linear combinations of counterrotating spherical harmonics Y_{1,-1} and Y_{1,1}

5. Jan 29, 2016

### ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
Whoa! People actually understood this? What exactly is a "dumble"?

I'll make up my own question: how is the "wave" characteristics manifested in an atom?

Answer: via the existence of a PHASE factor in the electronic wavefunction.

Zz.

6. Jan 29, 2016

Staff Emeritus
What goes through a Dumbledore.

He means "dumbbell".

7. Jan 29, 2016

### sophiecentaur

The Hydrogen atom is the easiest one to consider. The way they 'show it' is in the spectrum of the em waves that are emitted from the atom when it is excited. The fact that only a limited number of transitions take place (evidence is the limited number of frequencies emitted) implies that there are a limited set of energy levels in the atom. (The energy is quantised). A suitable explanation for this is that the configuration of the electron must be in the form of standing waves. The solution to the equation of motion of the electron gives integer values for the coefficients if you assume a wavelike nature for the bound electrons. That model fits the evidence so it's accepted as being the right one (or 'a' right one).
That is for a 'bound' electron. When an electron is free of any nearby nucleus, it can have any value of energy and so there is no standing wave involved.