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Thread: if the electrons did not spin around the nucleus

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    if the electrons did not spin around the nucleus

    just curious, how would the universe be different if the electrons did not spin around the nucleus? ... if they were somehow just stationary
    would planets, stars, galaxies still spin?

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulel View Post
    just curious, how would the universe be different if the electrons did not spin around the nucleus? ... if they were somehow just stationary
    would planets, stars, galaxies still spin?
    Technically, they don't "spin" in the sense of movement. They occupy a probability cloud of positions, usually referred to as an electron shell.

    The movements of planets, stars, and galaxies is due to the interaction between momentum and gravity. It has nothing to do with electrons.
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    In some ways spin is a unifying concept between the micro and the macro but in the micro case we cannot literally see electrons , we observe properties and we make models. Especially maths models that allow explanation and predictions. The small end o f our observations has revealed how probability is part of those models and for some behaviour it works better than a spin model. Finally to take that part of the question literally the cosmic scale and the microscale are linked and the properties we observe including our existence must indeed be a-total pattern interdependent whether we consider spin or other parameters.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulel View Post
    just curious, how would the universe be different if the electrons did not spin around the nucleus? ... if they were somehow just stationary
    would planets, stars, galaxies still spin?
    I'll just add something to the other answer, which is that incidentally, there is no such thing in reality as "stationary" in either case. When considering the movement of planets, for example, they will spin in a given direction and a given speed, and the chance of the speed being exactly zero is very, very small. So all objects are spinning at some speed, and very rarely (actually infinitely small chance) will it be absolutely zero. However, I think (this is just my guess, I don't think it can be tested) that in whole, the rotations of all the objects in the universe may well average out to zero.

    Also, I think that if hypothetically, electrons actually orbited the nucleus like planets (as NCN said, they don't), then they would collapse into the nucleus and you would get some kind of explosion I guess, and perhaps there would be no planets to spin in the first place...
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Also, I think that if hypothetically, electrons actually orbited the nucleus like planets (as NCN said, they don't), then they would collapse into the nucleus and you would get some kind of explosion I guess, and perhaps there would be no planets to spin in the first place...
    You can IIRC get them to touch in a high energy particle accelerator. But normally, electrons don't get any closer to protons than the Bohr radius in the ground state (lowest energy).
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    You can IIRC get them to touch in a high energy particle accelerator. But normally, electrons don't get any closer to protons than the Bohr radius in the ground state (lowest energy).
    Yes, of course, but I was specifically saying, "if electrons actually orbited the nucleus like planets," so in other words, I was saying, "if hypothetically we lived in a Newtonian world without quantum physics and without particle/wave duality."
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Yes, of course, but I was specifically saying, "if electrons actually orbited the nucleus like planets," so in other words, I was saying, "if hypothetically we lived in a Newtonian world without quantum physics and without particle/wave duality."
    OK, but I think sticking to real world answers is less confusing for Q&A threads
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    Unless the question specifically mentioned alternatives to the real world! Granted questions like that are very hard to interpret, but one must certainly go outside the real world to do it. In my view, the value of "what if" questions is to learn something about how things are by imagining how they might not be, kind of like contrasting what is with what isn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Unless the question specifically mentioned alternatives to the real world!
    Thanks.
    As above, so below

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    Electrons in H, He and Li do NOT spin around nucleus. They oscillate straight through nucleus in 1s and 2s orbitals. And galaxies and stars formed exclusively of H, He and Li.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Unless the question specifically mentioned alternatives to the real world! Granted questions like that are very hard to interpret, but one must certainly go outside the real world to do it. In my view, the value of "what if" questions is to learn something about how things are by imagining how they might not be, kind of like contrasting what is with what isn't.
    The OP said what if they DIDN'T orbit, which they don't. It appears to have ASSUMED that they orbited, and encouraging that misapprehension is in my opinion a bit irresponsible.

    Q&A is primarily for giving mainstream answers.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    I guess the OP is really a gravity question. Spin in a macro sense of orbits is the simple reason moons do not crash into their planets and so on. There are other forces resisting gravity in , for example, stars but stars can also spin. The question implies that electron spin around a nucleus somehow is the generation of a spinning star and perhaps solar planetary systems but as other answers have shown, that arises form a simplisticview of electrons
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    The OP said what if they DIDN'T orbit, which they don't. It appears to have ASSUMED that they orbited, and encouraging that misapprehension is in my opinion a bit irresponsible.
    I guess Iím an irresponsible guy then. Go ahead, discipline me. Iíll give in to your infinite wisdom.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I guess I’m an irresponsible guy then. Go ahead, discipline me. I’ll give in to your infinite wisdom.
    I apologize for using that term, it wasn't appropriate. I still have an issue with the answer you gave, for the reasons I stated, but I should have found a better way to say it.

    As someone who often has questions based on outdated or incomplete knowledge, I just thought of how I feel when I ask a factual question and get tangential or confusing answers. It's frustrating.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    As someone who often has questions based on outdated or incomplete knowledge, I just thought of how I feel when I ask a factual question and get tangential or confusing answers. It's frustrating.
    My entire knowledge of electrons is based on grade-school black-and-white movies showing little balls whirling around a central cluster of balls. I was born in 1955, during Eisenhower's first administration. Sea scorpions infested our swimming pools, and everyone had gills. That Cambrian Explosion, that was all the rage.

    I should go look up what exactly electrons do these days.

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    Just to be clear...

    The OP wrote a very speculative, non-mainstream question, so of course the answers are going to have to be very "what-if" speculative, non-mainstream. It is like the questions "what if the Earth didn't have a moon?". Replying "the Earth has a moon, any other response is non-mainstream", is not helpful. There is no problem with the responses from Ken G or Jens.

    However, some of the other posts are a little too much playing moderator. As always, if someone has a concern, Report it, don't moderate it yourself.
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