Is the wave function more like a soccer ball, or a golf ball

In summary, the conversation discusses the nature of the wave function around an atom. The first speaker compares it to a soccer ball or a golf ball, with the second speaker clarifying that the wave function is not a physical object. The second speaker also mentions the Schrodinger solution for S1 and the smoothness of the wave function with a real nuclear charge distribution. The conversation ends with a question about the reference to the Bohr model.
  • #1
BTBlueSkies
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I have been trying to understand the wave function around an atom..

Is it more like a soccer ball where the shell is smooth but is more likely to be found in say the dark areas, or is it more like a golf ball where it is not only angularly undulating, but also radially undulating?
 
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  • #2
I'm not sure what you mean. The Schrodinger solution for S1 is smoothly changing with the radius, without undulations, assuming a point-like, positively charged nucleus. I'd imagine it is could not be so smooth with a real nuclear charge disribution.
 
  • #3
BTBlueSkies said:
I have been trying to understand the wave function around an atom..

First and foremost, do you understand that the wave function is not a physical object and is not found around an atom?
 
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  • #4
Drakkith said:
First and foremost, do you understand that the wave function is not a physical object and is not found around an atom?

Do you think the OP was referencing the Bohr model? Or perhaps these--

hydrogen_orbitals___poster_by_darksilverflame-d5ev4l6.png
 
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  • #5
I think I see where you are coming from. The first row is not "undulating" from the center out (radially) but hemispherically (angularly) and the first column is radially and not angular. Is that what you mean?
 

Related to Is the wave function more like a soccer ball, or a golf ball

1. Is the wave function more like a soccer ball or a golf ball?

The wave function is a mathematical concept used to describe the behavior of particles at the quantum level. It is not a physical object, so it cannot be compared to a soccer ball or a golf ball in terms of its shape or properties.

2. Can the wave function be visualized as a physical object like a soccer ball or a golf ball?

No, the wave function is a mathematical abstraction that cannot be directly visualized. It represents the probability of finding a particle in a specific location and is not a physical object with a defined shape or size.

3. Is the wave function more like a soccer ball or a golf ball in terms of its behavior?

The wave function behaves differently than any physical object, so it cannot be compared to a soccer ball or a golf ball in terms of its behavior. It follows the laws of quantum mechanics, which govern the behavior of particles at the atomic and subatomic level.

4. Does the shape of the wave function affect the behavior of particles?

No, the shape of the wave function does not directly affect the behavior of particles. It is the mathematical equation that determines the probability of finding a particle at a specific location, regardless of its shape.

5. Can the wave function be changed or manipulated?

Yes, the wave function can be changed or manipulated through various processes, such as measurement or interactions with other particles. This is known as wave function collapse, where the wave function collapses into a specific state. However, the underlying mathematical equation remains the same.

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