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Quantum Wave Functions Come Alive: May the Bohr Model Rest in Peace

8/1/2013 08:00 AM EDT
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DanielDr   8/9/2013 1:21:39 AM
These orbitals resemble the geometry of sand on the plate when subjected to the specific frequency (cymatics).

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Some quibbles
Bert22306   8/1/2013 5:01:09 PM
The Bohr model was simplistic, but I'm not sure I follow the logic about the Bohr atom necessarily collapsing, nor why the current orbitals model would change that one aspect. For the electron to stay in orbit, centrifugal and centripetal forces need to match. Centripetal force would be caused by charge attraction, centrifugal would be the tangential speed and mass of the electron (mv^2/r, assuming one knew exactly where this electron was). Unless there's something to erode that speed, why would that centrifugal force diminish? You can't destroy energy or momentum, so in principle that centrifugal force goes on and on, unabated. And how do orbitals, as opposed to orbits, make this potential for ultimate collapse any different?

As to being in two places at the same time, I didn't think that's what the probability density function is saying.  I always thought of it as saying that the likelihood of the actual position may even be equal, that the particle is in any number of places, but that doesn't put the particle in those places simultaneously. It's just like saying, Joe might be at the store right now, or at work, I have no way of knowing which. Doesn't mean that Joe is in both places at the same time.

Fascinating article and subject matter. I assume it took so long to verify because instrumentation noise levels are huge, down at the atomic level. But this is also true for what a lot of theoretical physics has predicted, so I'm not surprised.

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