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Chemistry Forums for Students => High School Chemistry Forum => Topic started by: S4one on March 13, 2007, 01:37:58 PM

Title: Need help on how the electron passes...
Post by: S4one on March 13, 2007, 01:37:58 PM
How does the electron cross the node in the “p cloud”? 
I just need a thought on this subject, my teacher said there is no right anwser but I need some info on it to right. Thanks
Title: Re: Need help on how the electron passes...
Post by: FeLiXe on March 14, 2007, 12:10:16 PM
you just don't ask yourself that in quantum chemistry

I guess an explanation might be according to Heisenberg: saying that the electron passes through the node would require to know it's position and momentem with very high accuracy. and this accuracy would be higher than allowed according to the uncertainty principle

gernerally you don't have tracectories in quantum mechanics. you don't know how particles move around. again because of Heisenberg.
Title: Re: Need help on how the electron passes...
Post by: Yggdrasil on March 15, 2007, 07:34:37 AM
This really isn't an answer, but the fact that electrons can pass through forbidden regions (e.g. nodes) is known as tunneling.
Title: Re: Need help on how the electron passes...
Post by: FeLiXe on March 15, 2007, 11:09:17 AM
is it really tunneling?

in my eyes tunneling talks about an electron being in or going through a classicaly forbidden region. but you don't have a classicaly forbidden region here. besides that the probability of an electron being in a classically forbidden region does not have to be zero.

I am staying with Heisenberg: You can't ask the question because it's beyond Heisenberg.
Title: Re: Need help on how the electron passes...
Post by: S4one on March 15, 2007, 11:24:39 PM
Thanks for the replies
I understand what you guys are saying, that people do not ask this question in Chem but thats exactly what my teacher wants us to do. She wants up to come up with an answer on how the electron cross.
After some thinking, I decided that the electron crosses underneath the node. Can you guys help me explain how this would be?
My class is not a "real" chem class, rather a chem and the environment class. I have never taken chem before so it is hard for me to think and come up with thoughts in the way that chemists would.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Need help on how the electron passes...
Post by: FeLiXe on March 16, 2007, 04:50:45 AM
I can try to explain it again: in quantum mechanics movement does not work the way you are used to. the question how the electron moves is irrelevant. you can check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_principle or other articles about quantum mechanics.

the electron behaves like a wave not like an actual particle moving around.

it is not possible to talk about an electron's movement at such a tiny scale because this would violate the uncertainty principle.

if you want more explanation you may want to try a physics forum.