# Electron rotation/revolution rate (split from The relationship between space and time)

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To better understand the relationship between space and time you must quit thinking on large scales of whole objects such as people or planets and take a look at a single atom. You can then appreciate and partially understand the infinitesimal nature of how vast existence is. How many times does an electron orbit a nucleus each second?

Now you can see how vast space is, don't forget that electrons and protons are huge compared to quarks and other tiny particles. Just how far is an electron from a nucleus? If you recorded an electron for one second and then slowed your recording down to watch each revolution around the nucleus you would die of old age before you could finish watching your video.

Edited by Art Man

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6 hours ago, Art Man said:

Now you can see how vast space is

How does that say anything about the size of space?

6 hours ago, Art Man said:

don't forget that electrons and protons are huge compared to quarks and other tiny particles

Electrons and quarks are both fundamental particles and so are zero-sized.

6 hours ago, Art Man said:

If you recorded an electron for one second and then slowed your recording down to watch each revolution around the nucleus you would die of old age before you could finish watching your video.

That makes no sense. You haven't said how much you have slowed it down. Obviously you could slow it down by a hundred times or a billion times. That doesn't tell you anything.

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7 hours ago, Art Man said:

To better understand the relationship between space and time you must quit thinking on large scales of whole objects such as people or planets and take a look at a single atom. You can then appreciate and partially understand the infinitesimal nature of how vast existence is. How many times does an electron orbit a nucleus each second?

Now you can see how vast space is, don't forget that electrons and protons are huge compared to quarks and other tiny particles. Just how far is an electron from a nucleus? If you recorded an electron for one second and then slowed your recording down to watch each revolution around the nucleus you would die of old age before you could finish watching your video.

That bit from SJSU is by an emeritus economics professor (who has never taught a physics class, thank goodness, and I'm not sure how he got a physics degree), and is based on a classical physics analysis of the Bohr model, which we know to be wrong. The conclusions drawn from it are not physically meaningful.

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15 hours ago, swansont said:

That bit from SJSU is by an emeritus economics professor (who has never taught a physics class, thank goodness, and I'm not sure how he got a physics degree), and is based on a classical physics analysis of the Bohr model, which we know to be wrong. The conclusions drawn from it are not physically meaningful.

Since that is the case, my trust in Google has yet again dived another 1,000 points. I searched Google then did a print screen for that reply. Here is a new print screen jpeg.

The reason I made that reply and how it relates to the topic you split it from is that I was trying to demonstrate that time is much more vast and space much more infinite than most people realize because they usually only think on the human scale in human proportions and perception. Look how fast an electron moves within such a tiny space and through trillions times trillions times trillions of revolutions most electrons never collide with anything. And so, when you have an object (electron) completing an action (revolving around a nucleus) repeatedly within such a short span of time (unobservable) you get the sense that space and time is so much more deep and detailed and nuanced than an average person realizes. I should have explained my reply more than I did but since I now have this unintentional awesome topic, we should discuss this electron revolution/rotation rate.

Also, Google should have a verification system to omit false information from popping up at the top of a search page.

So, as pertaining to this topic, I wonder just how exactly does a person measure the speed of an electron accurately? Since my first source was wrong and I can't find a correct result after a second search, can someone point me to a correct source? I can find plenty on the speed of an electron but nothing on the number of revolutions an electron makes within a measured amount of time.

16 hours ago, Strange said:

How does that say anything about the size of space?

Electrons and quarks are both fundamental particles and so are zero-sized.

That makes no sense. You haven't said how much you have slowed it down. Obviously you could slow it down by a hundred times or a billion times. That doesn't tell you anything.

1. Well, I didn't say it directly and thought that demonstrating a different spatial dimension like an atomic scale would help the topic starter think about time and space with more dynamics.

2. Generally speaking, yes, they could be thought of as equally zero size because there's very few calculations that would ever demand plugging in the precise measurement of a quark or electron but truth is they are physically different in size.

3. I was figurately painting a picture about how vast space and time is. Humans usually think on familiar terms, seconds or minutes, in fact, most humans who are doing something complete physical actions on that scale of seconds or similar. But if you look at an atom you'll see that an electron has completed trillions of actions within a second of time.

I would've replied sooner but I was limited to 5 posts.

Edited by Art Man

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The speed of an electron is difficult to measure, because sometimes it makes no sense.

We usually measure speed by dividing a displacement by the time elapsed.
A displacement is defined by two points, and that's where the trouble starts.
Confining an electron to a point renders its momentum indeterminate ( Heisenberg Uncertainty )
And since momentum is the product of mass and velocity, you can see how trying to measure an electron's speed renders its speed indeterminate to varying degrees.

In modern physics an electron is not considered to be orbiting the nucleus, rather it occupies a probability distribution 'cloud', about and including the nucleus.

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20 minutes ago, MigL said:

The speed of an electron is difficult to measure, because sometimes it makes no sense.

We usually measure speed by dividing a displacement by the time elapsed.
A displacement is defined by two points, and that's where the trouble starts.
Confining an electron to a point renders its momentum indeterminate ( Heisenberg Uncertainty )
And since momentum is the product of mass and velocity, you can see how trying to measure an electron's speed renders its speed indeterminate to varying degrees.

In modern physics an electron is not considered to be orbiting the nucleus, rather it occupies a probability distribution 'cloud', about and including the nucleus.

...because of its indeterminant "speed". But, in truth, is really a single particle.

Could it be that the electron exists in a "quantum"-like state at all points simultaneously around the nucleus because the tiny space that it occupies has squeezed it so tight that when it passes through the same point that it already passed before, there is a "trace" of itself already there? Or, another way to ask this would be, an electron is going so fast around the nucleus that it dilates time within a "shell" like membrane that is called a "cloud" and so, because of its speed and limited space, almost occupies all points at once, and because of this and the theory of entanglement, if relatable to an electron, time does not truly exist for an orbiting electron till it is released from the nucleus and upon a linear path?

I don't know if I explained that clearly enough.

It seems that time exists with a different set of rules on microscopic scales independent of time on our human size scale.

Edited by Art Man

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5 hours ago, Art Man said:

But, in truth, is really a single particle.

I think that is debatable. (The field is more fundamental than the particle, it is a wave as much as a particle, it is surrounded by a cloud of virtual particles, it’s mass comes from its interaction with the Higgs, etc.)

5 hours ago, Art Man said:

It seems that time exists with a different set of rules on microscopic scales independent of time on our human size scale.

I am not aware of any evidence for that.

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8 hours ago, Art Man said:

Since that is the case, my trust in Google has yet again dived another 1,000 points. I searched Google then did a print screen for that reply. Here is a new print screen jpeg.

Google does not rank the trustworthiness of the information.

And you have inquired upon a topic where the easiest answer (of a non-trivial nature) is to dumb it down to the point where the answer is wrong.

8 hours ago, Art Man said:

The reason I made that reply and how it relates to the topic you split it from is that I was trying to demonstrate that time is much more vast and space much more infinite than most people realize because they usually only think on the human scale in human proportions and perception. Look how fast an electron moves within such a tiny space and through trillions times trillions times trillions of revolutions most electrons never collide with anything. And so, when you have an object (electron) completing an action (revolving around a nucleus) repeatedly within such a short span of time (unobservable) you get the sense that space and time is so much more deep and detailed and nuanced than an average person realizes. I should have explained my reply more than I did but since I now have this unintentional awesome topic, we should discuss this electron revolution/rotation rate.

Electrons in atoms are waves, so really aren't in a situation where they would collide.

8 hours ago, Art Man said:

Also, Google should have a verification system to omit false information from popping up at the top of a search page.

So, as pertaining to this topic, I wonder just how exactly does a person measure the speed of an electron accurately? Since my first source was wrong and I can't find a correct result after a second search, can someone point me to a correct source? I can find plenty on the speed of an electron but nothing on the number of revolutions an electron makes within a measured amount of time.

That would have to be a free electron, or quasi-free electron, where you can be measuring its particle behavior, and find its energy.  An electron emitted from a surface (i.e. a free electron) and accelerated through a potential difference would have a fairly well-defined speed, that would depend on the voltage. You could measure the average speed of electrons in a current-carrying wire by estimating the density of electrons you have and measuring the current.

7 hours ago, Art Man said:

...because of its indeterminant "speed". But, in truth, is really a single particle.

No, really, it is not. We have experiments that show that it is really a wave.

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10 hours ago, Art Man said:

...because of its indeterminant "speed". But, in truth, is really a single particle.

In its orbital an electron behaves as a standing wave. Its wavelength in that orbital is such that it does not interfere with itself. Here's a high school explanation: https://en.m.wikibooks.org/wiki/High_School_Chemistry/Schrodinger's_Wave_Functions

Edited by StringJunky

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11 hours ago, Strange said:

am not aware of any evidence for that.

You can't rely on hunches.

9 hours ago, swansont said:

No, really, it is not. We have experiments that show that it is really a wave.

So then, an electron being presented as a sphere in diagrams is for simplification.

Edited by Art Man

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12 minutes ago, Art Man said:

You can't rely on hunches.

Exactly. We need evidence.

12 minutes ago, Art Man said:

So then, an electron being presented as a sphere in diagrams is for simplification.

Yep. When it is treated as a particle, it has zero size.

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6 hours ago, StringJunky said:

In its orbital an electron behaves as a standing wave. Its wavelength in that orbital is such that it does not interfere with itself. Here's a high school explanation: https://en.m.wikibooks.org/wiki/High_School_Chemistry/Schrodinger's_Wave_Functions

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The very idea of movement is more diverse in QM.

When the electron is an orbital, it's by definition a "stationary" function, whose amplitude doesn't depend on time. You can say that the electron is "immobile" if you wish. That's why it doesn't radiate - QM answered this problem that classical physics had.

The "immobile" electron still keeps a kinetic energy, though, because the wave has a limited size, and it can have an orbital momentum and orbital magnetic moment if the phase of the wavefunction evolves with the position around the nucleus. In that sense, QM gives the electron only some attributes of the movement.

We could deduce some sort of mean electron speed for a stationary electron, for instance from the orbital momentum, some mean radius, and a mass. Or from the kinetic energy and the rest mass. Usually it's not done, and it would depend on the definition. As opposed, the energy and the orbital momentum are well-defined in an orbital.

Linear combination are solutions of the electron's equation too. If you combine several orbitals of same energy, like 2px and 2py, you get a stationary solution which is an orbital too. If you take orbitals of different energy like 2p and 1s, the linear combination is no more stationary. It's still a wavefunction but not an orbital. The combination has a (or several) bulge that moves over time, at a frequency equal (to a factor) to the difference of energies. Now you have a movement, in the classical sense too, and the electron emits or absorbs a photon.

This movement is as fast as the frequency of light, for instance 5*1014Hz.

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1 hour ago, Enthalpy said:

Linear combination are solutions of the electron's equation too. If you combine several orbitals of same energy, like 2px and 2py, you get a stationary solution which is an orbital too. If you take orbitals of different energy like 2p and 1s, the linear combination is no more stationary. It's still a wavefunction but not an orbital. The combination has a (or several) bulge that moves over time, at a frequency equal (to a factor) to the difference of energies. Now you have a movement, in the classical sense too, and the electron emits or absorbs a photon.

You obviously didn't read the book where they introduced hybridisation.

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Hybridisation is wrong in QM. I suggest you to check present-day theory, which is molecular orbitals.

For instance in methane, there is no sp3 orbital between the carbon and one hydrogen. One molecular orbital, resulting from 2s,  extends with the same sign to all four hydrogen atoms, while each of the three 2p orbitals reaches two hydrogens in one lobe and the other two in the other lobe.

Spectroscopic measurements confirm two different energies in the molecular orbitals, numerically consistent one from 2s and the other from the three 2p. Hybridisation, with four sp3 hybrids, fails.

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9 hours ago, Enthalpy said:

Hybridisation is wrong in QM. I suggest you to check present-day theory, which is molecular orbitals.

For instance in methane, there is no sp3 orbital between the carbon and one hydrogen. One molecular orbital, resulting from 2s,  extends with the same sign to all four hydrogen atoms, while each of the three 2p orbitals reaches two hydrogens in one lobe and the other two in the other lobe.

Spectroscopic measurements confirm two different energies in the molecular orbitals, numerically consistent one from 2s and the other from the three 2p. Hybridisation, with four sp3 hybrids, fails.

I assume you are referring to the UV emission/absorbtion spectrum of methane, by ejection of an electron ?

Surely this apparently cut and dried response is falling into the all too common trap expecting an Aristotelian logic (A) or (not A) from QM.

QM is not deterministic like classical mechanics.

Here is a short comment from this discussion of your issue.

Quote

So where is the truth? ... Ψ

is the answer and you can massage it to your will, depending what you want to see. You want localized bonds? You will get them. You want orbitals with the proper symmetry required by spectroscopy? As you wish.

Does the hybridisation concept have sense? In localized bond picture yes. Is it observable? No, and was never meant to be.

Have you considered what happens when observing the IR spectrum of methane?

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