# Problem in Isaac Newton's Theory

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I admit, this was on a television show. But it IS very perplexing.

Isaac Newton was the scientist who discovered gravity. Well, the TV show said he also went into atoms, but he was almost TOO long ago to know about that. Anyway, supposedly he thought that electrons circled the nucleus of an atom because of gravity.

A few minutes after I watched that, I noticed something:

If the electrons orbited the electron because of gravity, then they would also have to eventually collide with the nucleus, and the atom would likely no longer exist. Every object would be imploding really fast- and I really think that I would be consisting of two or three atoms right now if that was happening. So if the electrons aren't held to the nucleus by gravity, by what?

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Electromagnetism.

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.... I'm at eighth grade science, can you sort of explain for me?

is that at eighth grade science?

you know, I AM likely just in my grade (6th) but I'm a little too scientifically advanced sometimes.

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objects with the opposite electric charge(like an electron and a proton) attract each other, this force is far stronger than gravity, and gravity on that sort of scale (especially newtonian gravity) is just insignificant.

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Think of the proton and the electron as two magnets, they're trying to stick together but because the electron has too much energy (the electron IS energy) it's spinning around the nucleus like a planet orbiting it's star.

If you consider that a planet is kept in it's orbit without it falling toward the star or flying out into space, by gravity counterbalancing the speed the planet is moving.

In a similar way, the electron and the proton balance the magnetic force trying to stick them together with the energy of the electron making it try to fly out away from the nucleus.

I'm not sure if I explained that clearly, does it help?

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That helps alot, no joke.

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Think of the proton and the electron as two magnets, they're trying to stick together but because the electron has too much energy (the electron IS energy) it's spinning around the nucleus like a planet orbiting it's star.

If you consider that a planet is kept in it's orbit without it falling toward the star or flying out into space, by gravity counterbalancing the speed the planet is moving.

In a similar way, the electron and the proton balance the magnetic force trying to stick them together with the energy of the electron making it try to fly out away from the nucleus.

I'm not sure if I explained that clearly, does it help?

Analogies can be helfpful, but …

"the electron IS energy" is wrong, and the electron doesn't have a planet-like orbit. A problem with painting this as a magnetic force (when an electrostatic one works, and is what you'd expect from charged particles) is that someone might think that it's actually a magnetic force.

Planets do fall toward stars (that's the direction of the acceleration) but they miss because they are also moving forward at the right speed.

Electromagnetism can explain the force causing the orbit of an electron around a proton (or higher-charge nucleus) just fine — Bohr did that as part of his model. The issue was that accelerating charges are observed to radiate energy; this problem ceases when the energy levels are quantized and there is a ground state. No way for the system to lose the energy.

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