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On the Lighter Side => New Theories => Topic started by: RTCPhysics on 04/06/2017 11:02:11

Title: On the Quantum structure of the Hydrogen Atom.
Post by: RTCPhysics on 04/06/2017 11:02:11
The orbital 1s energy band of the electron around the proton is just another of the ‘constants’ that we find cropping up throughout physics. If we are to explain how this specific 1s energy band of the hydrogen atom has come to exist, rather than having a larger or smaller value, then we are looking for a quantum physical explanation.
 
We know that a hydrogen atom or an anti-hydrogen atom, can be created in the laboratory by magnetically bottling the proton within a restricted area and then firing electrons at it, with varying velocities and from all directions. Occasionally, one electron does not emerge from the other side of the magnetic bottle, having been caught in the proton’s base 1s orbital energy band to create the hydrogen atom.

However, the ‘centrifugal force model’ of the hydrogen atom, based upon an electron entering the vicinity of a proton and being caught by the ‘electrostatic field’ acting between them, does not explain the discrete 1s,2s,2p,3s,3p,3d… orbital energy band structure of the hydrogen atom, which is known to exist from spectral analysis.

An incident electron can theoretically occupy a continuum of electrostatic energy levels at every possible radial distance from the proton and in every orbital plane, dependent only upon the angle of entry and its entry velocity. But the existence of hydrogen atoms with an electron orbiting at every conceivable radial distance from the proton, has never been observed.

As a consequence, the viability of the ‘electrostatic charge’ model of the hydrogen atom, as a means of explaining the quantum structure of the hydrogen atom, is open to question. This article aims to develop an alternative explanation for the quantum structure of the hydrogen atom.
 
To develop an alternative explanation, we need to find a repeatable atomic process that involves both the proton and the electron, such that the outcome places the electron stably within the base 1s orbital energy band of the hydrogen atom.

There is one such mechanism that does exist in nature and that is ‘free neutron decay’. A free neutron is known to consistently undergo a form of ‘beta decay’ within a mean period of around 10 minutes, creating a proton, an electron and an anti-neutrino. The trigger behind ‘free neutron’ decay is thought to be the transition of a Down-quark into the ‘lighter’ Up-quark within the neutron.

If we ignore the occasional release of an additional gamma ray during free neutron decay, then the process of conversion of a Down quark into an Up-quark within the ‘free neutron’ is a repeatable process, which releases a physical quantum of kinetic energy that is transferred to the departing proton, electron and anti-neutrino particles.

What is different about free neutron decay from the random process of interactions between electrons and protons in a plasma cloud, is that the electron begins its journey away from the proton, as distinct from externally entering into the vicinity of the proton and relying upon its velocity to maintain its orbital angular momentum around the proton.

However, what is found in practice with free neutron decay, is that the number of hydrogen atoms created is miniscule. Observations of electrons emitted from free neutron decay, show that only in a tiny percentage of cases, do free neutron decays lead to the creation of a hydrogen atom.

This has been measured at around four in a million free neutron decays, so the creation of hydrogen atoms from neutron decay is far from a consistently repeatable process. In fact, rather than a fixed predictable amount, the measurements of the kinetic energy that is carried away by the electron can vary from near zero Mev, up to the maximum amount of kinetic energy that the beta decay process can physically create.

So, the creation of hydrogen atoms from beta decay does not happen often, but it does happen. If there existed a plentiful and ongoing supply of free neutrons, such as those created in the aftermath of a supernova explosion or those that reside within a neutron star, then over time, a steady supply of hydrogen atoms would be sourced from free neutron decay within the universe.

But what is the physical mechanism within free neutron decay, which gives rise to even a small number of hydrogen atoms? Both the proton and the electron created by the switch of the Down-quark to an Up-quark have measurable ‘magnetic dipole moments’ and the strength of the attraction between their magnetic fields affects their release velocities.

But what exactly is magnetic field strength, aside from the number of magnetic field lines emanating from the particular particle in question?

A magnetic field line of both the proton and the electron carries kinetic energy and this is physically demonstrated by the way that a random scattering of tiny iron filings around a bar magnet or upon the magnetic field around a current carrying wire, are all physically moved from where they fell, to align themselves along the circular routes of the magnetic field lines.

This physical movement of the iron filings requires kinetic energy to be applied by the magnetic field lines and if the individual field lines had different levels of kinetic energy, then the iron filings would line up in clumps along these more energetic field lines, rather than spread out reasonably evenly across them all. Each magnetic field loop carries the same quantum amount of kinetic energy that circulates around it.

This formation of the proton and the electron during 'free neutron decay' brings the magnetic fields of the two particles into direct contact and just like the inter-linking field lines of two bar magnets brought together, so the ‘magnetic field lines’ of the proton and the electron particles, function by passing their circular magnetic field loops through each other.

The process of ‘separation’ of the proton and the electron, under the influence of the kinetic energy transferred during free neutron decay, causes the magnetic fields of the two particles to be drawn apart. With this enforced separation, the attracting force between the two particles declines, as each circular magnetic field ring ceases to rotate through the other particle and reverts to rotating back around its own particle, thereby causing the magnetic attraction between the proton and the electron to be incrementally reduced.

But as ‘action and reaction’ are equal and opposite, the application of the repetitive incremental restraining force of the two combined magnetic fields, causes the proton and the electron to undergo an incremental slowing of their ‘relative velocity’ away from each other.

In the cases where the kinetic energy imparted to the proton and the electron is greater than the maximum restraining force of their two magnetic fields, then both particles will depart the scene.

On the other hand, if the kinetic energy transferred to the departing particles is less than the magnetic field strength, then both particles will slow to a stop and having no relative velocity acting between them, they will be drawn back together again.

But there is one state in which the two particles can remain separated, but at the same time, be magnetically bound together and this occurs when the kinetic energy absorbed by the two particles from beta decay is ‘exactly matched’ by the kinetic energy of their joint magnetic fields. It does not happen often, but it does happen.

In this state, neither the proton nor the electron are moving apart, but with their outermost magnetic field lines rotating in the same direction, they are still attracted to one another, although they no longer pass through each other to create the inward attracting force that would act to bring them back together again.

The distance between the proton and the electron in this ‘equilibrium state’, is the sum of the radial distances of their two outermost magnetic field lines. Together they define the base 1s physical location of the electron with respect to the proton nucleus of the hydrogen atom.

Despite the proton having a much greater mass than the electron, the magnetic field of the electron is known to be stronger than the proton’s, so the electron resides in the base 1s energy band with its own dominant magnetic field still active and intact.

The electron, however, having lost all its initial kinetic energy from the beta decay process, does not physically orbit the proton, as visualised by the Bohr model of the hydrogen atom. If it is to change its state within the 1s energy band, then the electron must be subjected to an input of external kinetic energy.

Such an input of kinetic energy arises from the ‘magnetic capture’ of an incident photon of a compatible wavelength. In the case of the base 1s level of the hydrogen atom, the photon must be from the ultra-violet region of the spectrum of light. Alternatively, an interaction with another proton-electron pair, can lead to the creation of the hydrogen molecule, linked by the dominant electron’s magnetic fields.

“It is the finite size and kinetic energy of magnetic fields that determines the quantum structure of the hydrogen atom.”
Title: Re: On the Quantum structure of the Hydrogen Atom.
Post by: Bored chemist on 04/06/2017 18:34:51
" But the existence of hydrogen atoms with an electron orbiting at every conceivable radial distance from the proton, has never been observed."

Yes it has.
It's responsible for part of the continuum emission you get from a hydrogen lamp.
A bit like this
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deuterium_arc_lamp#/media/File:Deuterium_lamp_1.png
(That's deuterium, but the spectrum is pretty much the same.)
Title: Re: On the Quantum structure of the Hydrogen Atom.
Post by: RTCPhysics on 07/06/2017 18:33:58
The spectrum of Deuterium that you refer to does not imply that electrons can reside at a continuum of distances from the nucleus.

What it explains is that the two electrons of deuterium, which reside in their base 1s orbital energy band are able to emit photons with a wide range of wavelengths.  For deuterium, the band width is shown to be 220 nm to 900 nm, which lies in the UV segment of the spectrum of light.

The principal wavelengths of the photons emitted by the deuterium atom correspond to their electrons transferring between the atom's orbital energy bands, but as the spectrum shows, all other wavelengths around these values are emitted, albeit less frequently.

Why Hydrogen has its 1s energy band at a particular distance from its nucleus is the question that this 'alternative theories' article attempts to address and is based upon the strengths of the magnetic fields that the proton and the electron are known to have, rather than upon the coulomb force that exists between the opposite charge characteristics of the proton and the electron.
Title: Re: On the Quantum structure of the Hydrogen Atom.
Post by: evan_au on 07/06/2017 23:52:18
Quote from: RTCPhysics
what is found in practice with free neutron decay, is that the number of hydrogen atoms created is miniscule
The reason for this is that it only takes 13.6eV to separate an electron and a proton "to infinity", as shown by the Lyman spectral series (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyman_series).

However, free neutron decay (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_neutron_decay) releases about 782343 eV (=0.782343 MeV), which is shared by the proton, electron and neutrino in a random ratio.

The very low odds of the proton+electron together receiving < 13.6eV of this massive energy release is what gives such a low probability of forming a hydrogen atom from free neutron decay.

Quote
the number of magnetic field lines emanating from the particular particle in question?
You can have electric field lines emanating from an electron or proton, as these are electric monopoles.

Despite much searching, physicists have not yet discovered any magnetic monopoles, so magnetic field lines cannot emanate from any currently known particle. Instead, magnetic field lines always originate as dipoles, and form closed loops. In the case of the proton & electron, these magnetic loops originate from the spin of the charged particle.

Quote
If we are to explain how this specific 1s energy band of the hydrogen atom has come to exist...free neutron decay
I'm afraid that I lost the connection between a normal Hydrogen atom (which has 0 neutrons), free neutron decay, and the diameter of the 1s orbital.

Quote
if the kinetic energy transferred to the departing particles is less than the magnetic field strength, then both particles will slow to a stop and having no relative velocity acting between them
The strength of the magnetic field between an electron and a proton is known quite accurately, as radio astronomers have been using the 21cm Hydrogen Line (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_line) to map dust clouds in the galaxy for many decades.

The energy involved is 0.0000059 eV (5.87433 µeV).

So I fail to see how an energy of 0.0000059 eV from the magnetic field between a proton and an electron
- is more significant than an energy of 13.6 eV from the electrostatic field between a proton and an electron
- and has anything to do with 782343 eV of energy released in free neutron decay, from nuclear forces
- these differ by about 11 orders of magnitude; they are talking about radically different effects.

When you have a stronger effect present, you can effectively ignore any of these weaker effects!
Title: Re: On the Quantum structure of the Hydrogen Atom.
Post by: RTCPhysics on 04/09/2017 13:20:30
When you have a stronger effect present, you can effectively ignore any of these weaker effects!

But this depends entirely upon whether ‘electrostatics theory’ can explain the ‘existence’ of the discrete orbital energy bands of atoms, in particular, the base 1s energy band of the electron in the hydrogen atom.
 
Electrostatic theory rests upon three axioms: its point charge, its perpetual energy fields and its infinite reach. Unlike the finite magnetic fields of the proton and the electron, their 'electrostatic' fields all have an infinite reach, with the magnitude of their energy output from their point charge, falling off in a ‘continuous’, but ever present manner, according to the square law of distance.

In the beta plus decay process of a free neutron, the conversion of a down quark into an up quark, leads to a proton and an electron being separately formed within its environs, each gaining a contribution of kinetic energy from the quark conversion, which drives the proton and the electron apart.

Applying electrostatic theory to this beta plus decay process, implies that the proton and the electron will each reach a state of equilibrium, when the amount of kinetic energy they each receive from the beta plus decay process, is matched by the opposing Coulomb attracting force between the two oppositely charged particles.

This can occur at every distance at which the two particles are apart, ranging from zero, when the two particles receive no kinetic energy to infinity, when the kinetic energy received is greater than the cumulative energy of the Coulomb force acting between the two particles.
 
The application of electrostatic theory to beta plus decay, does not mark out the 5.3x10−11m distance from the proton as being different from any other and hence why electrostatics theory does not give a physical explanation for the 1s orbital energy band residing at the specific distance of 5.3x10−11m from the proton nucleus of  the hydrogen atom.