(Electron) Orbitals

by trinary
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Demonstrates (electron) orbitals in practice (hydrogen).

USE FLASH PLAYER, JAVA PLAYER IS SEVERELY GLITCHY (CALCULATES ELECTRON'S RANDOM POSITIONS WRONGLY).

Orbitals are simply mathematical functions which describe where the electron reside in an atom, or more accurately, the probability of their residence there.
In an atom, electrons do NOT rotate around the nucleus but instead exist in what are termed orbitals. These are NOT orbits. Orbitals are regions of space surrounding an atom in which an electron is likely to be found in. Say you had a hydrogen atom and you somehow measured exactly where its single electron was for a single moment. You measure it again, noting that it exists now in a completely random place from before. Then you repeated this a hundred times. As you keep measuring, you plot the positions of the electron onto a 3D map. Gradually you would find that the electron's positions form a very distinct sphere around the nucleus, for around 95% of the time. This is the orbital for the energy state the electron is at.
These orbitals, or regions of space, have names. In particular, the crosssection of the orbital this project represents is the 1s orbital.

Please note that the nucleus in this simulation is much larger than scale.

Shared: 31 Jan 2012 Modified: 31 Jan 2012
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