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Hi, why does the electron stay around the atom? What force is holding it there, since they're not in orbit, but existing everywhere in the electron cloud at once.
- Richard Ong (age 15)
Winston-Salem, NC, USA
The electrical force is still present in the quantum behavior of the electrons in atoms. The cloud-like state ψ(r
, t) is held close to the nucleus by precisely that force. It shows up as the potential energy term -(e2
/r)ψ in the Schroedinger equation for the state. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger_equation
(published on 01/31/2012)
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