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Why doesn't the electron fall into the nucleus?


Achilles
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6 hours ago, Carrock said:

It's perfectly reasonable to claim I've got it wrong, but to edit my post and then imply I've said meaningless rubbish like 'The spontaneous tunnelling through the nucleus - or any other classically forbidden region - is the same as the electron “falling in”' is not.

This sounds like you are claiming I edited your post - I am not an admin, so I do not have the power to do that. And even if I did, I still wouldn’t, because that’s wrong. All quotes in this thread are accurately labelled with the correct names. Hence I also never implied that my words were in fact yours. Looking back over the thread, it is not clear to me at all how you could even think that.

6 hours ago, Carrock said:

Claiming that the OP is correct in the idea that the electron is never in the nucleus requires justification by Heinke.

I never claimed that the electron is never in the nucleus, and I don’t think the OP did either. I do concede though that the way I formulated my reply was not precise enough - it would have been better to say that the greatest probability of finding the electron is within a certain area located outside the nucleus, which does not preclude it being found someplace else.

I also concede that my comment about tunnelling was incorrect, as - having read up on it a bit more - that is not what happens. I was wrong on this one.

You clearly have good knowledge of quantum mechanics, and I appreciate your input on this thread - but I would also appreciate if you could be a little less hostile. There is no need for this at all. It reads like you think I have some sort of beef going against you, which is not the case at all - I was merely trying to help the OP with his question.

Edited by Markus Hanke
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3 hours ago, Markus Hanke said:

This sounds like you are claiming I edited your post - I am not an admin, so I do not have the power to do that. And even if I did, I still wouldn’t, because that’s wrong. All quotes in this thread are accurately labelled with the correct names. Hence I also never implied that my words were in fact yours. Looking back over the thread, it is not clear to me at all how you could even think that.

I never claimed that the electron is never in the nucleus, and I don’t think the OP did either. I do concede though that the way I formulated my reply was not precise enough - it would have been better to say that the greatest probability of finding the electron is within a certain area located outside the nucleus, which does not preclude it being found someplace else.

I also concede that my comment about tunnelling was incorrect, as - having read up on it a bit more - that is not what happens. I was wrong on this one.

You clearly have good knowledge of quantum mechanics, and I appreciate your input on this thread - but I would also appreciate if you could be a little less hostile. There is no need for this at all. It reads like you think I have some sort of beef going against you, which is not the case at all - I was merely trying to help the OP with his question.

I'm really sorry about that late night rant, where I pressed 'submit' before engaging brain.

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This sounds like you are claiming I edited your post

It does, and I meant 'quoting only part of post', which is perfectly OK; I do that myself of course and sometimes don't quote a relevant part of the post, which I feel happened here - no bad intent by you.

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...Hence I also never implied that my words were in fact yours.Looking back over the thread, it is not clear to me at all how you could even think that.

Inaccuracy by me again. You were, I thought rightly or wrongly, summarising my views in an inaccurate way and I should have said that or, better, nothing.

Good we agree about tunnelling.

 

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It would have been better to say that the greatest probability of finding the electron is within a certain area located outside the nucleus, which does not preclude it being found someplace else.

Still apparently disagree here with you and others - precise terminology is a problem. I still maintain that per unit volume s orbital electrons are most likely to be found inside the nucleus. Since the orbital is much bigger than the nucleus that probability is still very low.

 

Sorry again about my personal criticism, which was unjustified and should not have been posted. I've cancelled my downvote.

Thank you for your excellent response.

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