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What do atoms look like?

  1. Feb 20, 2004 #1
    What an atom looks like

    I opened this thread to bring up a subject seldom discussed because no one expects anymore to see speculations about what atoms may “look like” -- ever since the uncertainty principle demonstrated that we’ll never be able to see an atom in detail. That shouldn’t have ended speculation about the activities of electrons but it seems to have done so. We have settled for the endless warnings that we shouldn’t expect such visualizations of the atom from science.

    Is it feasible that in all of those planets among distant stars that all intelligence has settled for the Heisenberg principle and the Schroedinger wave equation as the only way to think of the submicrocosm?

    Imagine a voyager who has descended and presented a totally different image from the one we’re used to. It would be featured on the front page of the New York Times!

    Think of my model of the atom as a visit from outerspace then take a short trip to my website to see an otherworldly point of view for what electrons are doing as they build what we know as matter. (It’s based on earlier work done right here on Earth and not too outlandish.)

    ."Portrait of an Atom" Please see all 8 pages.

    How the model grew from an idea. (pdf download 1 MB)
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 29, 2004 #2
    aaw, i was intrested.
  4. Feb 29, 2004 #3
    i've read that site before but i still dont understand :(
  5. Feb 29, 2004 #4
    Re: What an atom looks like

    You can delete posts yourself.
  6. Mar 27, 2004 #5
    Dear K.S.,
    I am alarmed with your silence in both yours treads. How are you?
    I think, that these problems are very topical and I would like to help for their development.
    In the last month I have executed geometrical modelling and calculation of energetic parameters for atoms of hydrogen and helium.
    Now I in parallel make geometrical modelling and calculation of thermodynamic parameters for lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, and also for simple molecules of these atoms. It is very interesting occupation. It reminds infinite expedition on almost impassable underground labyrinths. Out of each turn it is possible to meet unexpectedness.
    http://vlamir.nsk.ru/H_&_D_e.pdf [Broken]
    http://vlamir.nsk.ru/He_&_H_e.pdf [Broken]
    Me it “has fortunate” from first steps. The modelling of a molecule of hydride of lithium and calculation of thermodynamic parameters have shown, that in the nature there is no substance under chemical formula LiH. In the nature there is a substance, which molecule consist of molecule of lithium and molecule of hydrogen, and the molecule of hydrogen is inside the molecule of lithium.
    One atom of lithium and one atom of hydrogen are not capable to incorporate in the same way, as molecules. What do you think concerning my words?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  7. Mar 27, 2004 #6


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    How in the world did I miss this one?!

    - Warren
  8. Mar 27, 2004 #7
    Currently I believe the quantum view of atoms are the ones that play the standard model, which I haven't seen myself yet through very quick skimming of those posted above. The whole S P D F orbitals.

    I also believe the string theory where, protons, electrons, and particles are made of strings, that vibrate in unique directions in space. I believe they have a new model on how an atom looks.

    Now my favourite part, according to Planck there is a minimum length of an object, which i believe it was 1.605 x 10^-34 metres. A proton if my memory isn't playing tricks on me again is 10^-15 metres, so currently physicists are trying to discover/invent a device that will allow for particles to be compressed or shrunken down to almost the smallest length. Then use these extremely small particles like an electron microscope, then it is very easy for us to see visually what atoms look like.
  9. Mar 29, 2004 #8
    Dear 99…,
    I would be glad, if you have believed own eyes.
    One atom of carbon occupies volume 5.7 cubic angstroms. In the electronic microphoto of a crystal of diamond in crystallographic plane 110 it is possible well to see the six-angle cell with the corresponding sizes (though the existing theory asserts, that it is a cubic cell?!). The molecule of hydride of lithium occupies 34 cubic angstroms. Hence, the electronic microscope is capable to see the geometrical form of atoms and molecules.
  10. Mar 29, 2004 #9
    id like see a source for that, ive been told that electron microscope are unable to see structures of atoms, ive never used an electron microscope though, ive got a poor school. well half a million is alot
  11. Mar 31, 2004 #10
    Scanning tunnel microscopes are certainly able to give us some idea of what atoms look like and results that have been published declare these atom shapes to be perfectly spherical. Today the perfecting of attosecond lasers actually enable to see the orbit of an electron within an atom.
  12. Mar 31, 2004 #11
    It is curious that people everywhere "know" what an atom looks like since the endlessly reproduced logo-shorthand for the Bohr hydrogen model has become indelible. Strange that charge cloud pictures are much rarer. Maybe it's because those whiz-line electron tracks indicate speed and motion?

    I'm trying to offer more options. You can click-download a small (288k) pdf file showing, on the first page, a dozen atom images collected from around the web. On the second page are atom pictures from my artwork, "Portrait of an Atom".

    If one day a work-around is discovered enabling us to see things clearly, what will the pictures look like?

    See here:

    http://www.kennethsnelson.net/ImagesOfTheAtom.pdf [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  13. Mar 31, 2004 #12
    McQueen, are you sure, that it is orbits of electrons?
    May be, it is something another?
    The principle of work of a tunnel microscope is very perspective, but I think, that this principle is necessary for using in a complex with a principle of compound eyes (as sight of insects). Then we can find out, how quantums of energy from microcrystals take off.
    It will give the most exact information about the form of atoms and molecules.
    As to electronic microphotos, they too give a lot of the perspective information, but, unfortunately, departments of education do not care of providing educational institutions with high-quality atlases.
  14. Apr 2, 2004 #13
    Vlamir , I think its something like using a flash , since an attosecond laser has almost the same frequency of the electron orbit , it can freeze the motion even though the energy imparted by thlaser to the atom might give not the orbit but a change in orbit , still it's getting closer.
  15. Apr 2, 2004 #14
  16. Apr 2, 2004 #15
  17. Apr 3, 2004 #16
    At temperature 850°Ñ diamond turns into graphite. Energy of transformation is equal 1.898 kJ/mol=0.2 eV/atom. Electrons in a beam of electronic microscope have energy in some hundreds eV.
    Why diamond collapses as a result of action of thermal fluctuations of low frequency and why diamond does not collapse from influence of huge energy and very high frequency of electrons in a microscope?
    Can you explain it with help of your “flash-theory”?
  18. Apr 4, 2004 #17
    I think if you follow the link you will get the technical information as to how electron microscopes have been used to get these pictures. As to the "freezing" of electron microscope by attosecond lasers , I read it at the nature magazine site but failed to book-mark it . Sory.
  19. Apr 4, 2004 #18
    A lot of years back I was designed electronic microscopes and other electronic-optical systems. Therefore I well know complexities of focusing of electrons, complexities of creation of high vacuum and cooling of samples of crystals, complexities of allocation of useful signals from noise.
    Still at that time I have understood, that the standard model incorrectly explains the structure of atoms.
    Now in the standard theory many questions, which it is impossible to answer, have collected. Most the complicated question is geometry of atoms.
    Many substances (diamond, carbides, compounds of boron, etc.) possess huge solidity and at the same time they easily collapse from weak thermal or chemical influences.
    For example, in an atmosphere of oxygen, diamond turns into graphite at temperature 750°Ñ, i.e. 100°Ñ is lower. Oxygen is electropositive under the relation to carbon. According to the standard theory, electrons move from diamond to molecules of oxygen, therefore diamond collapses faster. Agree, that it is unsatisfactory explanation.
    I think, that the reason of all of destruction is resonant vibration.
    According to my calculations, electron has the form of a ring in diameter 2 angstroms. In electronic microscope the electrons fly in such a manner that axes of rings are directed along the direction of movement. At impact about a surface of crystal there are shafts of quantums and splinters of electrons, but the resonance at impact does not arise. Therefore diamond does not turn into graphite.
  20. Apr 4, 2004 #19
    I have also had occassion to use electron microscopes , and so had a general idea of their limitations which is why the scanning tunnel microscope was invented I suppose , but obviously since you have been designing electronmicroscopes you must have a much better idea. In any case it seems to me that you are referring more to the crystalline structure than the atomic structure or am I mistaken ? Vlamir it seems that there has been some confusion , on re-reading your post I see that you were not referring to the geometry (structure ) of atome but to the geometry of crystals
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2004
  21. Apr 4, 2004 #20
    Current atomic theory

    Fascinating reading... I am not at the same educational level (yet) as the rest of you. I am currently an undergrad in college. I find this fascinating. So I pose this question.... knowing that the Bohr model is the current standard primarily used, what data has been documented that modifies the the Bohr model? Is it still relevant or has something new been discovered? I thought I heard a mention in the national news a few months ago, that some discovery has changed the accepted standard model of current atomic theory. If so, what is its quantum model? Thanks!!
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