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Q & A: why are atoms stable?

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Most recent answer: 10/27/2016
Q:
Dear Van,Greetings for you! According to Rutherford and Neil Bohr model of an atom, electrons revolve around the nucleus to keep themselves away from the nucleus (as nucleus attracts electrons towards itself).How electrons keep themselves away from the nucleus if they don�t revolve around the nucleus? If electrons don�t revolve around the nucleus, then they should fall into the nucleus and structure of atom should collapse. But it does not happen, why?Sincerely,Qasim
- Qasim (age 35)
Kohat, Pakistan
A:

The Bohr model is simply wrong, so there;s no need to explain how things could work if it were true.

As for why atoms are stable, we have many answers about how the kinetic enrgy of the quantum wave gets big if the wave gets squashed into a small space. That acts like a repulsive force and keeps the cloud from collapsiing too much. See, e.g., https://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=1199.

Mike W.


(published on 10/27/2016)

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