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Thread: Atomic Theory

  1. #1 Atomic Theory 
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    How exactly is it explained that two atoms with 'orbiting' electrons can combine and 'share' electrons?

    For example, I find I can combine two atoms to act as one and then separate them again to their original constituent parts.

    Is this because, like the parts that make up a single atom, the two atoms combine into one and have orbiting electrons then I put in the right amount of energy so that they decombine in the way I intend, or (to put a mildly sarcastic voice behind it) do they remain in close proximity to each other like the constituent parts of a single atom with the electrons 'avoiding' each other (or even repelling each other) to be easily moved apart by the energy that I put in?


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  3. #2  
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
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    If they were to fuse, then break apart again when bonds are broken, surely it would be common for you to get different atoms back? Also, in terms of potential energy, the amount of energy this would take/release is much larger than what we actually observe (think nuclear fusion, and nuclear fission: you don't see that every time you light a fire).

    We think of the electrons as tiny spheres orbiting the nucleus, but at any given point they may be anywhere in the universe, or could be in more than one position at once. When we say the atoms are "sharing" electrons, we simply mean that both atoms' nuclei are subject to electrostatic attraction to the electron at similar magnitudes.

    Does this make sense? If not, please say; I'm terrible at explaining things.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle
    If they were to fuse, then break apart again when bonds are broken, surely it would be common for you to get different atoms back? Also, in terms of potential energy, the amount of energy this would take/release is much larger than what we actually observe (think nuclear fusion, and nuclear fission: you don't see that every time you light a fire).

    We think of the electrons as tiny spheres orbiting the nucleus, but at any given point they may be anywhere in the universe, or could be in more than one position at once. When we say the atoms are "sharing" electrons, we simply mean that both atoms' nuclei are subject to electrostatic attraction to the electron at similar magnitudes.

    Does this make sense? If not, please say; I'm terrible at explaining things.
    it does make sense and I don't want to say this but i have heard it all before. If you were to ask me if I thought it would be common to get different atoms back I would agree but only due to what i have learn't on the subject to date for example.

    the fire thing makes perfect sense.............i appreciate the ambiguity in the subject.............The gold foil experiment only showing how the core of the sciences is discovered & described much more like plato described his shadow on the wall rather then by direct observation...........it does unfortunately undermine its validity a little I feel!!!! an important lesson to remember when applying the sciences i am sure!!!

    I was just wondering if anyone had any further information about the theory behind when things get close. Thanks for answering I appreciate it is a difficult question.
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  5. #4  
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    Disclaimer; I am an EE with a nuclear physics background, not a Chem E or scientist.

    Using a planetary model of the atom, it seems logical that an electron [planet]
    can be influenced by a nearby nucleus [sun/star] as well as its own.
    At some distance, they might attract like two magnetic objects.
    Finding an equilibrium would involve a readjustment of orbital geometry.
    Chemically this would be the "sharing" of electrons.
    Of course what those new orbits would be no one knows, especially
    in light of QM theory and probabalistic explanations.

    Hope that makes some sense.
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  6. #5  
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    it does thanks, i know a bit about astronomy too and helps.................just had to get my head round it but it does make sense.

    as an EE have you any experience of electrical signals such as sound, just out of interest?
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatman57
    as an EE have you any experience of electrical signals such as sound, just out of interest?
    I spent my entire career dealing with electrical signals which in general invloves the generation, processing and propagation of electromagnetic energy thru various media [cables, pc boards, free space, etc.] Sound electrical signals, which we call Audio, is much less interesting these days than higher frequency problems and development. WiFi, Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, are typical recent areas of work where the speed of light is an important limiting parameter of design.

    Someday there will be DC to daylight Internet access available to the home but politicians have a way of limiting what we engineers can do. So be patient and vote for candidates promoting freedom, not government control.
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