Why does electrons revolve around the nucleus ?

Why does electrons revolve around the nucleus ?


1 Answers

Yash Baheti IIT Roorkee
askIITians Faculty 97 Points
9 years ago
This is a very complex and interesting question, As we know, an atom has a central heavy part, or nucleus, around which electrons orbit, like the planets around the sun. But why do they orbit it? The first important thing to know is that electrons have an electrical charge. Electrons are negatively charged, while the nucleus is positively charged. You may have heard the phrase "opposites attract"; well this is certainly true for charges. An electron is pulled toward the nucleus by the electric force, just like planets are pulled to the sun by gravity.

OK, but why does the electron orbit, instead of just being pulled toward the nucleus and crashing into it? Think of it this way. Imagine you are coasting along on a skateboard at a constant speed, and you see something to your right that you are attracted to (maybe another boy or girl). You start to turn towards them, but your forward your motion will carry you past them. If the conditions are right, you'll keep turning, but your forward motion will keep making you miss them. You'll just circle them, always turning toward them, but never getting there. It's like that for the electrons (and planets, for that matter). They can't slow down, so they just keep turning and overshooting, forever circling the object of their desire. (Of course with a skateboard, you'll start to slow down, and you can spiral in to the object). !

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