I am wondering what forces cause the nodes between orbitals to occur, and if these nodes are ever penetrated or crossed by electrons during exitation of the atom.
Guess I should have read this post before I replied to the topic. The space between the orbitals are different then the nodes. Using my previous analogy of the particle it the box. The wavefunction doesn't go to zero at x=0 and L like it does at the node. At the wall of the box, the wavefunction is slightly above y=0. It passes through the limits and decreases exponentially, but never actually reaches zero,due to the Heisenburg Uncertainty principle. You can never keep a particle completely in the box. So the particle can tunnel through the side of the box and into another. When you excite an electron into a higher orbital it actually tunnels.Originally posted by Oblivion
No, that's ok. I've just been pondering them for sometime and don't understand how an electron in an exited atom can essentially go from one orbital to the next, without actually passing through the space between the orbitals. Thanks for the reply.