Is it the nucleus or a proton at the center?

In summary, The second image in the conversation is an interference pattern of photoelectrons emitted from a hydrogen atom. The red center does not signify the nucleus or electron shell, as there are no literal individual electrons or protons in the image. The image cannot be interpreted without understanding the complex mathematics involved and expertise in the field.
  • #1
TL;DR Summary
Please see the images below
Which one is closer to reality, is it this picture https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen#/media/File:Hydrogen_atom.svg or this https://www.naturphilosophie.co.uk/heart-hydrogen-atom/? The reason why I asked the question is according to the picture of hydrogen atom at Wikipedia, which is the first image, we can't really observe the protons or nucleus while in the second image we can clearly see the red center. But what is detected exactly at the second image especially at the center? Electrons or nucleus?
 
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  • #2
Electrons are not expected to be found close to the nucleus. In the hydrogen atom the nucleas is, by definition, the single proton.

The second link has many pop-science simplifications and can't really be analysed in the context of modern QM.
 
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  • #3
PeroK said:
Electrons are not expected to be found close to the nucleus. In the hydrogen atom the nucleas is, by definition, the single proton.

The second link has many pop-science simplifications and can't really be analysed in the context of modern QM.
Thank you. So how do we interpret the second image without venturing into pop-sci? What we can say about the red center?
 
  • #5
wonderingchicken said:
Thank you. So how do we interpret the second image without venturing into pop-sci? What we can say about the red center?
Rather than my doing the work, why don't you tell us what the colour coding means? What does the red colour signify?
 
  • #6
wonderingchicken said:
I can't comprehend complex mathematics involved, so maybe you understand more than I do when dealing with this kind of paper https://physics.aps.org/featured-article-pdf/10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.213001. That's the original paper of the second link.
It's fascinating stuff, but you'd need someone with expertise in the field to explain it. It looks like an experimental tour-de-force in photoionization microscopy, which verifies the theoretical predictions for
excitation of quasibound Stark states of the Hydrogen atom.

But, if your question is: "are the electrons in the nucleus", then your knowledge is a long way short of mine and mine is a long way short of studying quasibound Stark states.
 
  • #7
PeroK said:
Rather than my doing the work, why don't you tell us what the colour coding means? What does the red colour signify?

PeroK said:
It's fascinating stuff, but you'd need someone with expertise in the field to explain it. It looks like an experimental tour-de-force in photoionization microscopy, which verifies the theoretical predictions for
excitation of quasibound Stark states of the Hydrogen atom.

But, if your question is: "are the electrons in the nucleus", then your knowledge is a long way short of mine and mine is a long way short of studying quasibound Stark states.

Do you know anyone on these forums who have expertise in the field? First I thought the red center are protons but at the same time also thought of that as the region with the most electron densities.
 
  • #8
wonderingchicken said:
First I thought the red center are protons but at the same time also thought of that as the region with the most electron densities.
Neither. See Fig 3 in the paper and the footnote:

"Please note that the radial probability distributions have a zero at ##R = 0##, even if the two-dimensional images do not."

So, no they aren't finding electrons in the nucleus if that's what you're thinking.
 
  • #9
PeroK said:
Neither. See Fig 3 in the paper and the footnote:

"Please note that the radial probability distributions have a zero at ##R = 0##, even if the two-dimensional images do not."

So, no they aren't finding electrons in the nucleus if that's what you're thinking.

So, if I have to interpret the image with my not-so-good mathematical understanding, the red circle at the center is actually nothing despite being coloured red?
 
  • #10
wonderingchicken said:
So, if I have to interpret the image with my not-so-good mathematical understanding, the red circle at the center is actually nothing despite being coloured red?
The picture you are looking at is the interefence pattern of photoelectrons emitted from the atom. This is not a direct picture of the atom; it's nothing like a conventional photograph.
 
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  • #11
PeroK said:
The picture you are looking at is the interefence pattern of photoelectrons emitted from the atom. This is not a direct picture of the atom; it's nothing like a conventional photograph.

But the center can still be interpreted as the nucleus of the atom and the outer boundary as electron shell despite there are no literal individual electrons and protons in the image, is not it?
 
  • #12
wonderingchicken said:
But the center can still be interpreted as the nucleus of the atom and the outer boundary as electron shell despite there are no literal individual electrons and protons in the image, is not it?
No. The centre of the image is the centre of an interference pattern.
 
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  • #13
PeroK said:
No. The centre of the image is the centre of an interference pattern.
Got it. Thanks anyway.
 
  • #14
wonderingchicken said:
Got it. Thanks anyway.
"Thanks anyway" implies that he did not answer your question, but he DID answer your question (it just, apparently, wasn't the answer you wanted).
 
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  • #15
phinds said:
"Thanks anyway" implies that he did not answer your question, but he DID answer your question (it just, apparently, wasn't the answer you wanted).
He did answer my question and his answer is pretty straightforward, why? Stop overthinking...
 
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1. Is the nucleus or a proton the center of an atom?

The nucleus is the center of an atom. It is a small, dense region that contains most of the atom's mass.

2. What is the difference between the nucleus and a proton?

The nucleus is the central part of an atom, while a proton is a subatomic particle that is found within the nucleus. Protons have a positive charge and contribute to the mass of an atom.

3. How many protons are in the nucleus?

The number of protons in the nucleus is equal to the atomic number of an element. For example, carbon has 6 protons in its nucleus, while oxygen has 8 protons.

4. Can the nucleus exist without protons?

No, the nucleus cannot exist without protons. Protons are essential components of the nucleus and contribute to its stability and mass.

5. How does the nucleus hold protons together?

The nucleus holds protons together through the strong nuclear force, which is one of the four fundamental forces in nature. This force is responsible for binding protons and neutrons together in the nucleus.

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