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48

Nobody really knows. Using the naive Bohr model of the atom, we run into trouble around $Z=137$ as the innermost electrons would have to be moving above the speed of light. This result is because the Bohr model doesn't take into account relativity. Solving the Dirac equation, which comes from relativistic quantum mechanics, and taking into account that the ...


41

Theoretically, a radioactive material will still be radioactive at absolute zero, and its rate of decay will be $100.00\%$ of that at room temperature. Practically, at the lowest achievable temperatures we observe the same thing: radioactivity is still there, not affected the slightest bit. Nuclear motion does not slow down as we approach absolute zero, ...


39

Neutrons bind with protons and one another in the nucleus through the strong force, effectively moderating the repulsive forces between the protons and stabilizing the nucleus.$^{[1]}$ $\ce{^2He}$ (2 protons, 0 neutrons) is extremely unstable, though according to theoretical calculations would be much more stable if the strong force were 2% stronger. Its ...


34

I have searched and searched, oh how I have searched. Do you know what I always tell my mom when she asks me to find something in the Internet she was not able to find herself? I ask her: "Are you sure that the thing you are looking for even exists?" I am looking for a 3 dimensional visualization of a whole (moderately complex, hydrogen is just a ball) ...


30

As you move from left to right across a period, the number of protons in the nucleus increases. The electrons are thus attracted to the nucleus more strongly, and the atomic radius is smaller (this attraction is much stronger than the relatively weak repulsion between electrons). As you move down a column, there are more protons, but there are also more ...


29

You are using the Heisenberg uncertainty principle to relate the uncertainty in position $x$ to the uncertainty in velocity $v$. However, the quantitative version of this principle actually is $$\Delta x\cdot\Delta p\geqslant\tfrac12\hbar $$ where $\Delta x$ is the uncertainty in position $x$ and $\Delta p$ is the uncertainty in momentum $p$. Certainly, ...


27

The two hydrogens are the same, but some periodic tables show hydrogen in both places to emphasize that hydrogen isn't really a member of the first group or the seventh group. Hydrogen is a diatomic gas in it's elemental state, which is different from the other group one metals (and similar to the group seven elements). At the same time, hydrogen usually ...


25

Simply speaking, because it's an appropriate unit to use. Let's imagine I wanted to measure the length of a rope. What would be an appropriate length to use? Inches? Centimeters? Feet, maybe? It would really be awkward to express it as 0.000189393 miles, or as 304,800,000 nanometers. (Note: if you can't see why these units are awkward, take any page ...


25

It is possible to modify nuclear decay rates using chemistry, though it is rare and the effect is usually very small. Here I summarize the information available in this link. You may want to see the references within. There is a type of nuclear decay called electron capture, where a nuclide directly captures an electron from the innermost electron shells ...


21

In short: the definition of a chemical bond is not unique and a clearly-drawn line. The simplest and most common definition is the sharing of electrons between two or more nuclei. In contrast, other interactions are often said to be intermolecular (which is somewhat more specific than the term “physical”. In a longer commentary, I see can have five ...


21

In a few more words, physicists right now are confident in saying that there are four fundamental things that happen: Protons and neutrons stick together. (The "strong nuclear interaction".) Neutrons sometimes "fall apart" into a proton, electron, and antineutrino. Sometimes this can happen in reverse, too. (The "weak nuclear interaction", also known as "...


21

Yes, according to the Arrhenius theory, acids dissociate in aqueous solution and release a proton ($\ce{H+}$). The Brønsted–Lowry defines acids ($\ce{HA}$) and bases ($\ce{B}$) in such a way that their interaction is characterized by the exchange of a proton according to $\ce{HA + B <=> A- + HB}$. However, this is about the reaction of molecules in ...


20

It depends how you define the surface of an atom. Atoms maintain no surface in the normal sense; only regions of space where you have a better chance of finding electrons. So in fact it is not correct to say they have a true shape at all. Shapes of Atomic Orbitals However if you plot the region of higher probability of finding electrons in an atom you can ...


19

Electrons and protons are charged particles. The electrons have negative charge, while protons have positive charge. A neutral atom is an atom where the charges of the electrons and the protons balance. Luckily, one electron has the same charge (with opposite sign) as a proton. Example: Carbon has 6 protons. The neutral Carbon atom has 6 electrons. The ...


19

s, p, d, f and so on are the names given to the orbitals that hold the electrons in atoms. These orbitals have different shapes (e.g. electron density distributions in space) and energies (e.g. 1s is lower energy than 2s which is lower energy than 3s; 2s is lower energy than 2p). (image source) So for example, a hydrogen atom with one electron would be ...


18

The synthetic trans-uranic elements (the "modern era" elements as you call them) are synthesized by bombarding a certain isotope of one element with a certain isotope of another element with a lot of energy in order to get nuclear fusion. The reason they are "out of order" is that the building blocks of these elements have to be very specific isotopes (extra ...


17

Since the stratosphere is nowhere near a closed system, a chlorine atom will eventually leave it. Look at the phrasing again: It is estimated that one chlorine atom can destroy over 100,000 ozone molecules before it is removed from the stratosphere. It is not stated, that it looses its potential, it just leaves the region, where there is sufficient ozone ...


16

Remember, the 'size' of an atom has nothing to do with the size of the nucleus. It has to do with the size of the valence shell (which itself is not well-defined*). So, if we neglect change in electrical attraction, the size should stay the same—a shell is a shell and it need not 'expand' to accomodate electrons. Now, as we add more protons and electrons, ...


16

First, this isn't quite true. It is true for the first row of the periodic chart (from lithium to neon). It is almost true for the second row (from sodium to argon. But there are exceptions there. Beyond that it really isn't true at all for the elements beyond the first two columns. The reason for the increased stability for the first two rows lies in ...


16

This is due to the mass-energy equivalence and a phenomenon called binding energy. Forming a nucleus releases energy because the nucleons are falling into a potential energy well. Due to Einstein's mass energy equivalence this results in the mass of the new nucleus being less than that of the particles that formed it. The binding energy of carbon-12 is ...


16

I am looking for a 3 dimensional visualization of a whole (moderately complex, hydrogen is just a ball) atom that includes 3 dimensional orbital geometry. 3 dimensions is only enough to represent the probability density function of hydrogen. Given that the origin is the location of the nucleus, each point in 3-dimensional space will have a corresponding ...


15

You are attaching too much importance to Lewis structures. The 8-electron rule and Lewis structures which are derived from it are only rough guidelines for working out the electronic structure of a compound in very broad strokes. Often these broad strokes are accurate enough to make some meaningful statements about molecular properties but it does not ...


15

It is all about minimizing the energy of a molecule. In the case of carbon, the only molecule that adopts a perfect hexagonal geometry in its ground state is benzene (and its derivatives that possess a 6-fold rotational axis). In this case the hexagonal geometry is adopted because all of the carbons are $\ce{sp^2}$ hybridized. The ideal geometry (lowest ...


15

But in the case of protons, we are kind of certain about their position in the atom. Well, yeah, kind of certain. The very notion of molecular geometry arises in the Born-Oppenheimer approximation. Nuclei are much heavier than electrons so that when solving the electronic Schrödinger equation they can be assumed to be stationary. This clearly violates the ...


15

If I understand the question correctly, OP is somewhat surprised that Coulomb's law is used to describe the interaction between an electron and a nucleus, although it is usually pictured that electrons are moving and Coulomb's law describes interaction between static particles. Should not then the Lorentz law be used instead Coulomb's one? First note, that ...


14

Let me see if I can get at some of your questions. As mentioned above, it's much easier when you ask individual specific questions. One problem with books on introductory quantum mechanics is that, put simply, the language of quantum mechanics is math. Specifically, most people use the Schrödinger equation which involves second derivatives and differential ...


14

In non-nuclear chemistry, everything is electrostatic interactions. This is why you can learn and predict so much just by "following the electrons" Covalent bonds are also formed because of electrostatic interactions - they are just more complicated conceptually than ionic (actually, ionic bonds are more accurately described by wavefunctions, we just try to ...


14

Usually when adding electrons based on the Aufbau principle, you go from one element to the next highest one, e.g. from $\ce{Ti}: \ce{[Ar] 4s^2 3d^2}$ to $\ce{V: [Ar] 4s^2 3d^3}$. Thus you add not only an electron but also a proton to your atom. When you remove electrons to get to a cation, you only remove electrons. Thus it is a different situation, with ...


13

The mass scale has changed over time, largely due to different isotopes of the "baseline." Not surprisingly, there's a good Wikipedia article on the matter. In the 20th century, until the 1960s chemists and physicists used two different atomic-mass scales. The chemists used a "atomic mass unit" (amu) scale such that the natural mixture of oxygen isotopes ...


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