Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
One of my favourite things from my degree was learning about orbitals.  Orbital shapes are just probabilities. It is purely a probability that you will find that electron orbiting the nucleus at that particular point at that particular time.  They move so fast that you end up with a 3d representation of the orbital shape that looks solid. But in reality if you could freeze at any one moment, there would be dots of electrons in random looking places around the nucleus.

I don't think the concept of a spinning ball in space is hard at all. I'm astounded that we exist, that we are solid. Or we think we are. We are nothing more than a probability.   Each atom is full of empty space.  How am I so solid when I am so full of space?  Why does matter not sift through me as though I were a ghost?

Are ghosts just people with a lower probability of being solid?

I've been neutron scattering.  I've fired streams of neutrons at my samples and collected the scattered hits to tell me what shape my molecules are. The neutrons go into my samples and bounce off from inside the atoms and the angles in the scattering patterns tell me the size and shape.

Electromagnetic radiation goes through me. Photons are both waves and particles.  Particles goes through me, so am I really solid? Am I really here?

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 03:03:56 AM EST
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