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Q & A: Exotic atoms with electrons replaced with other negative particles.

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Most recent answer: 09/16/2015
Q:
Ok so I've been trying to figure this out for a while now. If you have an atom that doesn't use electrons as the negative particles, would they still be in an "orbit" around the nuclei? Follow up question, can electrons only interact if they are in orbit? - Thanks
- Jared (age 19)
Idaho Falls, ID , USA
A:

Hi Jared,

Sure, these strange beasts can and do exist.   See for example. They have quantum states with energy and angular momentum eigen-states similar to ordinary hydrogen but with different energy values.  

Yes, electrons can interact with other objects even though they are not bound in atoms.  For example two free electrons can scatter off one another.   As usual, energy and momentum must be conserved.

LeeH


(published on 09/16/2015)

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