Embarrassing Questions

I'm sure each of us has a huge list of unanswered questions. Here's a blog for archiving all such questions. It would potentially serve to get us and others some answers which have been eluding us for a long time. The answers can come in the form of comments. Please note that we should stick to questions we had honestly asked when we were in school, or pre-university college. We are strictly barred from trying to find answers to our research problems!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Here we go!

So, here's the first question.
Why doesn't the electron fall into the nucleus?

6 Comments:

Blogger Karthik said...

I think the answer is pretty much the same as the answer to the question ' Why don't the planets fall into the sun?'

February 13, 2006 2:37 AM  
Blogger Karthik said...

I think the answer is pretty much the same as the answer to the question ' Why don't the planets fall into the sun?'

February 13, 2006 2:37 AM  
Blogger Ajit said...

I think the answer is both yes and no. The motion of planets is governed by gravitational forces (unless you are anti-Newton!), whereas motion of electrons is governed by nuclear forces. But yes, it's after all some force anyway.

February 14, 2006 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Kaustav said...

if one considers that the electron is not just a particle but also a wave, the answer is quite elegant. Imagine a wave, and try to 'fit' it around a circle. Firstly, the wave will not be confined to the center of the circle, and there are only certain wavelengths (read 'quantised energies' here) whose multiples will fit around the circumference. Hence, the electron cannot 'fall' into a nucleus.

February 22, 2006 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey kaustav
what keeps two protons together?

February 24, 2006 3:07 AM  
Blogger Pritesh said...

I agree with Satya!!!!! But Satya, I think there's an optimum distance, they don't repel each other strongly enough to be able to "survive" each other's presence....

February 24, 2006 2:17 PM  

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