June 2nd, 2013

#3855: Have a look at the wave function of the electron

Derek Lowe has a picture there of a hydrogen atom with its electron shells on full display.

Granted, this particular atom has its electrons driven into an extremely high energy state (n=30) which you're generally not going to see all that often, but as Lowe points out you can calculate all sorts of energy states for a hydrogen atom and this image fits nicely with theory.

(Incidentally, this post of his links one of his prior posts on the subject which has an image of both S and P orbitals.)

Modern science sure can be freaky.