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What keeps electrons from falling into their parent nucleus when theyre at ground state? Take hydrogen as an example because I know electron shielding can happen with bigger nuclei. Also, do the protons and neutrons of a nucleus arrange themselves like electrons in orbitals?
- Bruce (age 24)
I'll answer briefly, but you can find more detailed answers in this
site with our 'search' feature. As the electron squashes into a smaller
space, the wave has to contain components with shorter wavelengths,
which turns out to be identical to higher momenta in quantum
mechanics.(This is called the Uncertainty Principle.) Big momenta means
big kinetic energy. That means that the energy actually goes up, not
down, if the electron collapses in too far. So the collapse only goes
to the point where the total energy is minimized- the ordinary
(published on 10/22/2007)
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