# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: How many revolutions per minute does an electron do of it's nucleus?  (Read 4989 times)

#### Tyron

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##### How many revolutions per minute does an electron do of it's nucleus?
« on: 09/12/2008 17:55:35 »
does anybody know how may revs per minute an electron travels around it's
nucleus?    is it possible to measure this?
Tyron in South Africa

<Sub>Mod edit - Hi Tyron, welcome to the forum!  I've edited the subject line of your post to format it as a question - this way, it makes the forum easier to navigate and keeps everything tidy.  Please could you do this in the future? - Thanks.</sub>
« Last Edit: 10/12/2008 13:24:24 by BenV »

#### blakestyger

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##### Re: How many revolutions per minute does an electron do of it's nucleus?
« Reply #1 on: 09/12/2008 19:07:54 »
There are others who will explain it better but the electron whizzing round its nucleus is a model only - it's one that works at a simple level to show how chemical bonds and the like work but in 'reality' what you have around the nucleus is a 'probabilty cloud'  - where the electron is likely to be found if it could be located at any one time.

#### techmind

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##### Re: How many revolutions per minute does an electron do of it's nucleus?
« Reply #2 on: 09/12/2008 23:19:21 »
If an electron were really spinning round in circles, it'd rapidly shed all its energy as electromagnetic waves (radiowaves/light/X-rays etc).

If you want to do a purely hypothetical calculation, you could consider the radius of the electron orbit (let's start with hydrogen - look it up; call it the atomic radii), work out the attractive electrostatic force for +1e and -1e (look up the formula for electrostatic attraction), equate that to the classical centripetal force F=mv2/r or mw2.r and there you are (look up m, the electron mass). Basic first-year 'A'-level stuff.

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Re: How many revolutions per minute does an electron do of it's nucleus?
« Reply #3 on: 10/12/2008 11:44:45 »
If you want to do a purely hypothetical calculation, you could consider the radius of the electron orbit (let's start with hydrogen - look it up; call it the atomic radii), work out the attractive electrostatic force for +1e and -1e (look up the formula for electrostatic attraction), equate that to the classical centripetal force F=mv2/r or mw2.r and there you are (look up m, the electron mass). Basic first-year 'A'-level stuff.

pfft - doddle!  [xx(]

#### lyner

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##### How many revolutions per minute does an electron do of it's nucleus?
« Reply #4 on: 11/12/2008 18:36:44 »
You have to realise that "where an electron is" is not knowable, precisely and neither is its energy /speed / momentum. All you can say about it when it is in orbit is that it is 'probably' somewhere within a fuzzy region. The shape of the region depends upon the particular atom and on which electron you are concerned with and which energy state it is in. As its energy state is defined more and more accurately, so its 'position' becomes less and less precise.
In fact, it is much better defined in terms of a standing wave around the nucleus.

#### Chemistry4me

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##### How many revolutions per minute does an electron do of it's nucleus?
« Reply #5 on: 11/12/2008 23:16:37 »
Good explaination sophiecentaur!
Only the simplest of orbitals are round/spherical.

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### How many revolutions per minute does an electron do of it's nucleus?
« Reply #5 on: 11/12/2008 23:16:37 »