Question about a sticky post

I am referring to the short post in the sticky, referred to as "WHY DON’T ELECTRONS CRASH INTO THE NUCLEUS IN ATOMS?"

the “electron” occupies a volume of space simultaneously, so that it is “smeared” in a particular geometry around the nucleus.
Simple question: what shape is the electron then? Is it a ring, or a hollow sphere, ect? What shape will ensure that they don't collide?
 
It is incorrect to imagine the electron having a shape, and it is incorrect to imagine electrons orbiting the nucleus. Scroll down to the "orbitals table" to see what an atom with a single electron looks like, for various values of energy and angular momentum:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_orbital

In relativistic quantum mechanics we find it necessary to make the electron a point particle, since otherwise it would tear itself apart with internal forces. But this is not something that anyone can or will ever measure, it is just part of the mathematical framework.
 

alxm

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Simple question: what shape is the electron then?
This was already addressed, but electrons don't have a shape, rather they're referring to the shape of their pattern of motion, or rather, density. The shape of the space that they occupy is what's called an orbital.

What shape will ensure that they don't collide?
It's the other way around, really. First, electrons repel each other since they have the same electric charge (negative). Second, there's a 'rule' in quantum physics (the Pauli priniciple), that dictates that they can't occupy the same point in space (unless they have opposite 'spin).

So, the shape of the orbitals are largely dictated by these effects.
 
Thanks.

I found this excerpt in the WIki article, that tells of a shape like a hollow sphere:

A more accurate analogy might be that of a large and often oddly-shaped atmosphere (the electron), distributed around a relatively tiny planet (the atomic nucleus).
I appreciate the answers. Good day.
 

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