# electron passing nodes?

When one say that the electron goes from 1 orbit , say 2S, to another (higher) orbital, say 5P, it mean that the electron is excited to that orbit by some mean. In doing so it also it will also cross the nodes of 2P etc. But doing so does the electron actually cross the node or what? Cause doing so the, there is probability, although very less, of finding electron in node for a very short time.

• My understanding is that the electron instantly jumps from one energy level to another. Since it isn't a discrete object the idea of it moving through space across the node is meaningless. However, I will wait for someone else to provide a more detailed answer than me.
– bon
May 30, 2015 at 17:09
• @bon, one better says that electrons "jump" from one quantum state to another. Besides, an electron transition does not happen instantly, but rather in a course of a few nanoseconds (or less). May 30, 2015 at 18:00
• @Wildcat I suspect electron excitation must take at most a few hundred femtoseconds in order to explain, for example, ultrafast photoexcited electron transfer in systems with fullerenes. The duration of an electronic transition is probably given by a number close to the inverse of the absorbed photon frequency (e.g., $\mathrm{400\ nm \rightarrow 750\ THz \rightarrow 1.333\ fs}$). May 30, 2015 at 18:13
• @NicolauSakerNeto, picture it in the following way. Say, for the case of spontaneous emission, the emitted light of some frequency can be thought of as a result of electron "oscillations" at this frequency. To produce the wave an electron "oscillates" back and forth many times (say, few million times at average) which is why transition time is nowhere close to the inverse of the frequency. May 30, 2015 at 19:20
• with regard to the question I found this very helpful: antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/electrons/faq/… May 31, 2015 at 8:57