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In the classical view of the electron, would the electron fall into the nucleus?

  1. Mar 7, 2012 #1
    In the classical view of the electron, would the electron "fall" into the nucleus?

    I'm not asking why the electron doesn't fall into the nucleus. I know this is explained by quantum mechanics.

    But in class the other day, my professor said that treating the electron as a classical particle would lead to it crashing into the nucleus. This didn't really make sense to me. An electron experiences a coulombic force from the nucleus, much like a planet experiences a gravitational force from a star. With a classical view of the electron, wouldn't the electrons just adopt an elliptical orbit like a planet on a much smaller scale, or is there some other distinction between a planet and an electron where the electron would act differently and "fall" into the nucleus?

    I know the classical view is wrong, I just didn't know if this reasoning really applied.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2012 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Re: In the classical view of the electron, would the electron "fall" into the nucleus

    A classical electron would radiate and lose energy.
     
  4. Mar 7, 2012 #3
    Re: In the classical view of the electron, would the electron "fall" into the nucleus

    Gotcha, thanks.
     
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