Where would a stationary electron reside in an atom?

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Offline pushkar

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when quantum number l of electron is zero, angular momentum is zero, hence the electron is stationary.

Is the schrodinger wave equation applicable to stationary electrons? Where is the stationary electron located in the atom?
« Last Edit: 19/03/2010 21:34:50 by chris »

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Offline JP

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Re: Where would a stationary electron reside in an atom?
« Reply #1 on: 18/03/2010 11:09:57 »
I assume you're talking about a hydrogen atom here?  When l=0 the electron has no angular momentum.  This means it is found somewhere in a spherically symmetric structure located about the nucleus.  You can't describe it as a tiny dot orbiting the nucleus, because quantum mechanics says that it's smeared over the entire orbit (at least until you measure it).  The distance from the nucleus at which you'd be most likely to find it is determined by the energy of the electron.

I would also be careful about calling it stationary, since still has momentum, just not angular momentum.