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Author Topic: What is special about orbital motion?  (Read 1970 times)

Offline latebind

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What is special about orbital motion?
« on: 27/02/2009 20:24:02 »
The orbiting motion seems to be present in small scale(as with electrons and atoms) and in a large scale(as with planets and stars) and also on a super large scale(as with some galaxies that orbit each other).

Why is this motion replicated on many levels?


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What is special about orbital motion?
« Reply #1 on: 27/02/2009 20:32:34 »
That electrons orbit the nucleus of an atom is an outdated theory that has been proven to be incorrect. I'll leave it to someone else to try to explain the real situation.
 

Offline Vern

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What is special about orbital motion?
« Reply #2 on: 27/02/2009 21:15:19 »
This Wikki article explains the current view of electron-atomic orbitals pretty well.

Quote from: Wikki
In atomic physics and quantum chemistry, electron configuration is the arrangement of electrons in an atom, molecule, or other physical structure.[1] Like other elementary particles, the electron is subject to the laws of quantum mechanics, and exhibits both particle-like and wave-like nature. Formally, the quantum state of a particular electron is defined by its wave function, a complex-valued function of space and time. According to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, the position of a particular electron is not well defined until an act of measurement causes it to be detected. The probability that the act of measurement will detect the electron at a particular point in space is proportional to the square of the absolute value of the wavefunction at that point.
 

Offline JP

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What is special about orbital motion?
« Reply #3 on: 27/02/2009 21:40:54 »
Orbital motion under gravity is just a stable way that two gravitationally-attracted objects can move about each other.  It's common because once things are stable they tend to stay that way for a long time so its easy to see them.  Science also tends to focus on stable systems, so orbits are generally more interesting to scientists.  Unstable motions tend to go away (because the objects fly apart or because they smash into each other), so they tend to become less common with time, and they usually aren't as interesting to look at. 

By the way, electron "orbits" are interesting because they are stable configurations of electrons about a nucleus, although as noted already they don't look like classical gravitational orbits.
 

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What is special about orbital motion?
« Reply #3 on: 27/02/2009 21:40:54 »

 

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