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Pictures of electron etc orbits

  1. May 27, 2011 #1
    Pictures of "electron etc orbits"


    Are they photographs and the "orbits" happened at some distance form the lens? Then, how much is that distance?

    What are the actual sizes of these shapings? I.e. how many milimetres is the length and the diametre of each (line on photo)->(cylinder out there that happened)?
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2011 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Pictures of "electron etc orbits"


    It's impossible to answer these questions without knowing the construction details of this specific bubble chamber and its associated photographic apparatus.
  4. May 27, 2011 #3
    Re: Pictures of "electron etc orbits"

    OK, impossible, but what could they be the minimum and maximum values regarding this photo?
  5. Jun 9, 2011 #4
    Re: Pictures of "electron etc orbits"


    So, what is actually photographed as a white line (which is supposed to be the orbit of an electron), is a cluster of bubbles, which radiated light because the atoms of the bubbles got ionised? (It doesn't make much sense what I just said, but am asking for the exact description).
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  6. Jun 9, 2011 #5
    Re: Pictures of "electron etc orbits"

    That's pretty close. The tight circles are actually spirals, if you look at them closely. They are not 'orbits', and the scale is much larger than even a classical Newtonian electron orbits, if that's what you suspect. The circularity comes from their motion within an intense magnetic field, perpedicular to their motion. The spiral comes from their losing energy to the fluid. They may also be losing energy by light-radiation losses: they are giving off radiation because they are curving. So they spiral inward. They no longer have the speed to travel in a wider arc, the magnetism is constant, so they go in tighter and tighter arcs. The spirals are beautifully rounded because the electron is losing energy average-wise very consistently from point to point.

    They are not orbiting anything. They are just getting tired and running out of gas.
  7. Jun 9, 2011 #6
    Re: Pictures of "electron etc orbits"

    That's not what I asked. I asked what what was photographed as white line. Light which was radiated by ionised atoms? Then what do the clusters of bubbles have to do with that?
  8. Jun 13, 2011 #7
    Re: Pictures of "electron etc orbits"

    No. not light radiated from ionized atoms. The tiny bubbles reflect light from the surrounding light. They are little different from the lines of bubbles coming up from the bottom of a glass of 7-up, except they go in a spiral direction, and are produced by the ionizing trail of the electrons, going the way I described previously.

    The distance from the lens won't tell you anything: it could be one metre, or 10, depending on whether a simple lens, or tele-micrographic setup is used. The latter would produce the least image distortion. As for the exact size of everything, you would have to email the researchers.
  9. Jun 13, 2011 #8
    Re: Pictures of "electron etc orbits"

    Are you sure they use a lens? The don't mention anything about any lens in the detailed experimental setups that I have read.
  10. Jun 13, 2011 #9
    Re: Pictures of "electron etc orbits"

    I'm as sure as you are.

    The post started with 'the lens' as a given.
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