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Q & A: electrons in atoms repel

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Most recent answer: 02/14/2016
Q:
Hi Van!,Good afternoon!I have a question: why electrons which revolve around the nucleus dont repel each other? It is rule that like charges repel each other.
- Ram Chand (age 37)
Karachi, Pakistan
A:

The electrons in atoms do repel each other. That's why atoms typically only pick up enough electrons to balance the charge of the nucleus, giving a neutral atom. The next electron would see an overall neutral object, and only be weakly attracted to the extent that the other electrons rearrange their distributions a little to make an electric dipole. That repulsion also makes it complicated to calculate the energies of different states of the atom.

Mike W.


(published on 02/14/2016)

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