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LC model of an atom?

  1. Dec 26, 2006 #1
    I know quantum mechanics describies a hydrogen atom in great detail. I'm wondering if there exists another model using the concepts of inductance and capacitance.

    Obvioulsy there could exist a capacitance between a proton and an electron and inductance of the electron in the electron cloud.

    So the frequencies emmited by the atom are simply different resonances of LC

    [tex] \omega = \frac{{1}}{\sqrt LC } [/tex]

    I know this is unnessesary or even inadequte, but since everything from radio wave to microwaves is modeled by LC, so just a thought.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 26, 2006 #2


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    The failure of classical models, especially simple models, to explain atomic behavior such as spectral lines, heat capacity, chemical bonds and the periodic table were a powerful impetus to develop quantum theory. Unfortunately, not "everything" can be modeled by L's and C's...
  4. Dec 26, 2006 #3
    If you're going to do this today, the obvious approach is to first take the equations describing the thing your interested in (derived using mainstream technique), break them down into the mathematical constituents (sine functions, square roots, pi, other constants, etc), then choose your favourite set of concepts to apply (maybe relate every sinusoid to a pendulum.. or an LC circuit) and try to draw what the equation describes in terms of your choice of concepts. Finally, come up with a more creative rationale for drawing that picture as your starting point, and exclaim that it produces the exact same result as previous theories! ..but on the other hand, if it sounds kind of complex and arbitrary, and doesn't give any insight into other problems, ... what was the point of this again?
  5. Dec 29, 2006 #4
    If the model would work well for different atoms just changing a few parameters, it could be used to predict complicated behaviours of (heavy?) atoms, which are still too difficult to solve with QM; or, from that model, it could also be explored the way two atoms interact...
    I think it wouldn't be such a meaningless idea, if the model weren't too complicated.
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