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Q: What causes electrons to spin around? ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: What causes electrons to spin around?
Category: Science > Physics
Asked by: jack4321-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 28 Dec 2005 01:31 PST
Expires: 27 Jan 2006 01:31 PST
Question ID: 610381
Surrounding every atom there are are electrons which spin around the
atom in an orbit.  What causes the electrons to spin?

Request for Question Clarification by juggler-ga on 28 Dec 2005 01:44 PST
Does this explanation work for you?

"Why do electrons move?"

Clarification of Question by jack4321-ga on 28 Dec 2005 20:37 PST
It works for me.  Thank you very much.
Subject: Re: What causes electrons to spin around?
Answered By: juggler-ga on 28 Dec 2005 22:51 PST
Okay, then we'll make that the official answer.

"Why do electrons move?"
at University of Illinois: Inside the Atom

search strategy:
"why do electrons"

Subject: Re: What causes electrons to spin around?
From: qed100-ga on 28 Dec 2005 16:06 PST
"What causes the electrons to spin?[about the nucleus]"

   A lot of people ask how an electron can stay in an orbital
indefinitely. The implication by the poster usually is that the
electron ought to run out of energy. The first thing to ask is, How
does the Moon remain on orbit? In classical physics a satellite can
remain on orbit indefinitely, because there is no loss of orbital
energy, at least not in a strictly two-body system. The two bodies
have kinetic and potential energy, and their total reamins constant
even as the exact distribution varies. But overall there is a balance
between the radial acceleration due to gravity and the perpendicular
intertial motions of the bodies.

   In the late 19th early 20th centuries experiments demonstrated that
the chamical atom consists of an electrically positively charged
nucleus and negatively charged orbital electrons. Given their masses
and distances, gravity plays a trivial role and it's the mutual
electrical attraction which stands in its place; the particles
accelerate towards each other due to the electric force. Modeled early
on as classical bodies they were pictured as basically just like
satellites. But there was a major rub: by classical electrodynamics an
accelerated electric charge radiates electromagnetic waves, and these
waves carry energy away. An orbital electron, being perpetually
accelerated, ought to just as perpetually radiate energy, and that
lost energy would translate to a decreasing orbital radius. One would
expect an electron to VERY rapidly fall into the nucleus.

   The solution to this conundrum came with a ripening of the theory
of quantum mechanics, and that's where the excellent link given by
juggler comes in.
Subject: Re: What causes electrons to spin around?
From: padpub-ga on 02 Jan 2006 08:48 PST
There is a force of attraction (electromagnetic force due to opposite
charge of protons in the nucleus of the atom) acting on the electron
which is acting in the direction of the center of the orbit in which
the electron is moving. This force is always acting in the direction
of the center of the orbit. On the other hand, the velocity of the
electron at any given point on the orbit is in the direction of
tangent to the orbit at that point. The balancing of these two vectors
(especially the pull towards the center at every point on the orbit)
causes a continuous change in the direction of "resultant" motion of
electron. This forces the electron to move in a circular path in the


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