Is the energy inside an electron-orbital vibrational energy?

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In summary, there is no vibrational energy inside an electron in an atom. The frequency associated with the orbitals is related to the Schrödinger equation and not to a classical vibration. The kinetic energy in each orbital is not vibrational energy and does not contribute to the vibration of an orbital. There is no quantum energy that is vibrational within each orbital. The orbital itself does not have a quantum vibration like a standing wave. The electron is described by a probabilistic quantum wavefunction that spreads out through space, but it does not vibrate in all cases. The atom does not have a quantum vibrational frequency, but molecules can have vibrational degrees of freedom.
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desta41
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Is the kinetic and potential energy inside an electron (orbital) of an atom referred to as vibrational energy? Or just electrical?

And would each orbital be vibrating at a particular frequency -- an EM frequency?
 
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No, there is nothing vibrational about it. You cannot have a classical view of what goes on at the atomic level, it is described by quantum mechanics. There is a frequency associated to the orbitals, but it is a frequency related to the Schrödinger equation and not to a classical vibration.
 
  • #3
Orodruin said:
No, there is nothing vibrational about it. You cannot have a classical view of what goes on at the atomic level, it is described by quantum mechanics. There is a frequency associated to the orbitals, but it is a frequency related to the Schrödinger equation and not to a classical vibration.

So the kinetic energy in each orbital of an atom is not vibrational energy, therefore doesn't contribute to the vibration of an orbital?

Then is there a quantum energy that is vibrational and within each orbital?

Does the orbital have a quantum vibration (like that of a standing wave)? Is that what you were alluding to when you were speaking of a frequency (of a non-classical type) associated to an orbital?

I've heard it said that an electron is described by a probabilistic quantum wavefunction, which spreads out through space and vibrates. Is this correct?

There would be a quantum vibrational frequency for each orbital within an atom?
 
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  • #4
desta41 said:
I've heard it said that an electron is described by a probabilistic quantum wavefunction, which spreads out through space and vibrates.
The first part is true, the last is not true in all cases. Observation of quantity in QM is usually characterized by the mean value of the operator associated to that quantity. If the atom is in one of its Hamiltonian's eigenstate, let's say ##|a\rangle## (which is called the stationary state), the mean value of any observables including position is time independent: ##\langle a | U^\dagger r U| a \rangle = e^{i(E_a-E_a)t/\hbar} \langle a | r | a \rangle = \langle a | r | a \rangle##, i.e. there is no change of the most probable position to find an electron in time possible. This mean value may depend on time if the atom is in a superposition state.

desta41 said:
There would be a quantum vibrational frequency for each orbital within an atom?
There does exist vibrational degree of freedom in molecules but not in atoms.
 
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Related to Is the energy inside an electron-orbital vibrational energy?

1. What is the energy inside an electron-orbital?

The energy inside an electron-orbital refers to the energy of an electron as it moves around the nucleus of an atom. This energy is quantized, meaning it can only have certain discrete values.

2. Is the energy inside an electron-orbital constant?

No, the energy inside an electron-orbital is not constant. It can change as the electron moves to different energy levels or orbitals within an atom.

3. What is vibrational energy in relation to electron-orbitals?

Vibrational energy in relation to electron-orbitals refers to the energy associated with the movement of an electron within its orbital. This movement can be described as a vibration or oscillation.

4. How is the energy inside an electron-orbital related to the position of the electron?

The energy inside an electron-orbital is related to the position of the electron through the concept of quantum mechanics. The position and energy of an electron cannot be precisely determined at the same time, and are described by probability distributions.

5. Can the energy inside an electron-orbital be measured?

Yes, the energy inside an electron-orbital can be measured through various techniques such as spectroscopy. This allows scientists to determine the energy levels and transitions of electrons within an atom.

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