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An atomic orbit is the path followed by an electron around the nucleus of an atom. It is often depicted as a circular or elliptical shape, but in reality, it is a three-dimensional probability distribution of where the electron is likely to be found.
The number and arrangement of atomic orbits determine the electron configuration of an atom, which in turn determines its chemical properties and reactivity. The orbits also play a role in the energy levels of electrons and the emission of light by atoms.
No, electrons do not follow a fixed path around the nucleus. According to the principles of quantum mechanics, the exact position and momentum of an electron cannot be known simultaneously, so its orbit is constantly changing.
Yes, electrons can jump between different energy levels or orbits by absorbing or emitting energy in the form of photons. This process is known as electron excitation or de-excitation and is responsible for the emission and absorption of light by atoms.
Scientists use various techniques, such as spectroscopy, to study the behavior of electrons in atoms and determine their energy levels and arrangement. The quantum mechanical model of the atom also provides a mathematical framework for predicting the number and arrangement of atomic orbits in an atom.