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

  1. Jul 3, 2015 #1
    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?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2015 #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.
  4. Jul 4, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    First and foremost, do you understand that the wave function is not a physical object and is not found around an atom?
  5. Jul 4, 2015 #4
    Do you think the OP was referencing the Bohr model? Or perhaps these--

  6. Jul 4, 2015 #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?
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