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First ever photograph inside a hydrogen atom

hydrogen atom

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 03:51 PM

Scientists have captured the first ever photo of an electron’s whizzing orbit within a hydrogen atom, thanks to a unique new microscopy technique.

http://www.foxnews.c...-hydrogen-atom/

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#2    Taun

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 04:06 PM

Have they ever deduced just how fast those electrons are when they orbit the nucleous? is it Light Speed?


#3    freetoroam

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 05:40 PM

Knowing what it looks like is not really going to have a life changing effect on me, but I would sure love one of those  microscopes, that is amazing.

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#4    shrooma

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:09 PM

View Postfreetoroam, on 29 May 2013 - 05:40 PM, said:

Knowing what it looks like is not really going to have a life changing effect on me, but I would sure love one of those  microscopes, that is amazing.
.
me too freet, I could use it to study my bank balance!!
:-)

"well we've ruined all the good bits, and cut down all the trees, and dumped the radiation into the deep blue seas.
we've ploughed up so much country just to get from A to B, just to move that little bit faster, in our five-speed luxuries-
just to move that little bit closer, to the world on your tv's."
-Culture Shock-

#5    27vet

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:44 PM

@Taun read "Metamagical Themas", just google it.


#6    David Thomson

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:11 PM

Somebody needs to quote more carefully, "The image represents a scale so small that even the individual electrons are visible whizzing around the atom."  There is only one electron in a hydrogen atom.  The articles said "electron's" and not "electrons."  

There is another problem with this photo.  The electron is not a particle and neither is it a wave.  It merely behaves as both simultaneously.  The electron's actual structure is characterized by the unit of angular momentum.  The photo represents the assumptions of the scientists and not an actual image of an atom.  The photo is a computer generated image based upon interpretations of interference patterns.  If the interpretation assumptions are changed, then the photo will change, too.


#7    shrooma

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:58 PM

View PostDavid Thomson, on 30 May 2013 - 03:11 PM, said:

Somebody needs to quote more carefully, There is only one electron in a hydrogen atom.  The articles said "electron's" and not "electrons''

View PostStill Waters, on 29 May 2013 - 03:51 PM, said:

Scientists have captured the first ever photo of an electron's whizzing orbit within a hydrogen atom
.
huh??

"well we've ruined all the good bits, and cut down all the trees, and dumped the radiation into the deep blue seas.
we've ploughed up so much country just to get from A to B, just to move that little bit faster, in our five-speed luxuries-
just to move that little bit closer, to the world on your tv's."
-Culture Shock-

#8    Red Howler

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 04:11 PM

Most life forms look like orbs.

To me that looks like a small egg, or a flower.


#9    sepulchrave

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 04:58 PM

View PostTaun, on 29 May 2013 - 04:06 PM, said:

Have they ever deduced just how fast those electrons are when they orbit the nucleous? is it Light Speed?
As David Thomson points out, electrons bound to a nucleus are neither particles nor waves (rather they are eigenstates of the Hamiltonian; a ``wave'' is an eigenstate only of a zero-potential Hamiltonian, and a ``particle'' is an eigenstate only of an infinitely steep infinitesimally large Hamiltonian), so the question isn't really meaningful.

If you assume electrons are particles then the orbit speed for a 1s electron in a hydrogen atom is (using the formula mv2/r = e2/r2) you get the speed of the electron to be 691 times the speed of light, which is... impossible.

Of course this is even more flawed than that, because the 1s ``orbit'' has zero angular momentum; the electron isn't rotating around the nucleus at all.

View PostDavid Thomson, on 30 May 2013 - 03:11 PM, said:

There is another problem with this photo.  The electron is not a particle and neither is it a wave.  It merely behaves as both simultaneously.  The electron's actual structure is characterized by the unit of angular momentum.  The photo represents the assumptions of the scientists and not an actual image of an atom.  The photo is a computer generated image based upon interpretations of interference patterns.  If the interpretation assumptions are changed, then the photo will change, too.
I don't think that is entirely correct (emphasis mine).

The actual article is available here (and is free to read, at least for the time being).

As I understand it, the electrons are ejected from the host hydrogen atom and hit a multi-channel plate detector; each electron impact will register as one ``event'' at a particular pixel. The images here are basically a colorized histogram of the electron impacts from thousands of events.

Therefore the scientists may be making assumptions in interpreting the images, but the actual images themselves haven't been processed much from their raw form (obviously the colour scheme was added by the scientists to make it easier to see regions that had lots of impacts compared to regions that had very few impacts).

[Incidentally, since the hydrogen atoms were excited while under a DC electric field, angular momentum is no longer a ``good'' quantum number, so the standard (n,l,m) set does not define an electron eigenstate any more (this is the best explanation I could find after a brief search); rather the ``good'' quantum numbers are the parabolic coordinates discussed the the article linked above.]


#10    Junior Chubb

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:14 PM

Its a bit blurry, is it Sasquatch?

I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. Anyway, it's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.

#11    moonshadow60

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:26 PM

Does look like an egg, doesn't it?  Quantum mechanics is a very interesting field, not that I understand much of it.


#12    freetoroam

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:40 PM

View Postsepulchrave, on 30 May 2013 - 04:58 PM, said:

As David Thomson points out, electrons bound to a nucleus are neither particles nor waves (rather they are eigenstates of the Hamiltonian; a ``wave'' is an eigenstate only of a zero-potential Hamiltonian, and a ``particle'' is an eigenstate only of an infinitely steep infinitesimally large Hamiltonian), so the question isn't really meaningful.

If you assume electrons are particles then the orbit speed for a 1s electron in a hydrogen atom is (using the formula mv2/r = e2/r2) you get the speed of the electron to be 691 times the speed of light, which is... impossible.

Of course this is even more flawed than that, because the 1s ``orbit'' has zero angular momentum; the electron isn't rotating around the nucleus at all.


I don't think that is entirely correct (emphasis mine).

The actual article is available here (and is free to read, at least for the time being).

As I understand it, the electrons are ejected from the host hydrogen atom and hit a multi-channel plate detector; each electron impact will register as one ``event'' at a particular pixel. The images here are basically a colorized histogram of the electron impacts from thousands of events.

Therefore the scientists may be making assumptions in interpreting the images, but the actual images themselves haven't been processed much from their raw form (obviously the colour scheme was added by the scientists to make it easier to see regions that had lots of impacts compared to regions that had very few impacts).

[Incidentally, since the hydrogen atoms were excited while under a DC electric field, angular momentum is no longer a ``good'' quantum number, so the standard (n,l,m) set does not define an electron eigenstate any more (this is the best explanation I could find after a brief search); rather the ``good'' quantum numbers are the parabolic coordinates discussed the the article linked above.]
Posted Image


Does your post come with subtitles?

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#13    sepulchrave

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 07:13 PM

View Postfreetoroam, on 30 May 2013 - 05:40 PM, said:

Does your post come with subtitles?

Ummm.... the concepts of ``wave'' and ``particle'' are thrown around a lot in quantum mechanics (``wave-particle duality'', etc.). This is because the important aspects of the behaviour of waves (like water waves) and particles (like billiard balls) are understood by most people.

This is just a simplification, however.

A quantum object has no ``innate form'', rather its behaviour depends on its environment, for example:
  • A quantum object that is in free space and not interacting with anything will become a wave.
  • (A human alone on a beach will run around bare naked.)
  • A quantum object that is strongly interacting with other things and extremely tightly confined to one location will become a particle.
  • (A human interacting with friends at a fancy dinner party will wear uncomfortable dress clothes and sit quietly in one spot.)

But these two extremes rarely happen.

In most cases a quantum object is sort of confined to a region, but still has some freedom of movement; for example an electron bound to an atom is localized to a region of space, not a single spot. (A human at a beach with other people will wear a swim suit and run and splash in only certain areas.)

This behaviour isn't exactly wave-like or particle-like; so it can be hard to describe. Because it isn't physics without confusing pseudo-german words, we call these states ``eigenstates'': the natural behaviour of an object in a particular environment.

For example, the eigenstates of a single electron bound to a hydrogen atom in  free space are called ``hydrogen wave functions'', they can be easily calculated and are shown here.

For the experiment in question in this thread, the hydrogen atom is not in free space, but in an external electric field. So the eigenstates, or natural behaviours of single electrons bound to hydrogen atoms in an external electric field, are not exactly the same as the natural behaviours of a single electron bound to a hydrogen atom in free space.

Eigenstates are usually defined by ``quantum numbers''; so a different set of quantum numbers is needed to describe an electron wavefunction bound to a hydrogen atom in an external electric field than is needed to describe an electron wavefunction bound to a hydrogen atom in free space.


#14    freetoroam

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 07:24 PM

:tu:

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#15    pallidin

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 07:44 PM

View PostTaun, on 29 May 2013 - 04:06 PM, said:

Have they ever deduced just how fast those electrons are when they orbit the nucleous? is it Light Speed?

Not sure, but what is sure is that "light speed" is out. Electrons have mass, and no currently known mass can go to that level.





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