Atoms – Electrons, Protons and Molecules

Electrons, Protons and the Coulomb Force


Before modelling protons and electrons under the coulomb force, a quick note about time scales and distance scales. Distances on the atomic scale for protons and atoms are often measured in picometers (10‾¹²), where the Bohr radius is 53pm. For electrons, distances can go as small as the Lorentz radius of 3 femtometers (10‾¹⁵). For tracking electrons, attoseconds (10‾¹⁸) is […]

The Helium-Neon Laser


The last blog talked about no longer tracking electrons through the coulomb force, but rather, thinking of an electron as being confined to a specific area around the nucleus at a specific energy level. The electrons are so fast and light compared to the nucleus of an atom that we need a better way to model what is going on. The quantum […]

The Ideal Gas Law


Click here to to see the animation of molecules in motion. The Ideal Gas Law states that at constant temperature for a fixed mass, the absolute pressure and the volume of a gas are inversely proportional. To model the normal air we breath at 20°C we are dealing with free flowing molecules travelling in the range of a few nanometers per picosecond. We chose […]

Spherical Harmonics and Quantum numbers


Atomic orbitals are calculated from mathematical wave functions that predict the probability of finding an electron or a pair of electrons in a specific region around the atom’s nucleus. Quantum mechanics tells us that electrons in an atom possess four quantum numbers that determine what energy level the electron is at. They are: Orbital, n=1,2,3…; Azimuthal, l=0,1,2…n−1; Magnetic, ml=−l,−l+1…0…l−1,l; and finally Spin, ms=−1/2,1/2. The […]