The electron cloud model is a theory of the atom that comports with the modern understanding of quantum mechanics. The model dispenses with the classical "orbiting electrons" depiction and envisions electrons as holding indeterminate positions in a diffuse cloud around the nucleus of the atom.Know More
Classical atomic physics described the atom as consisting of a nucleus, which consisted of protons and neutrons, surrounded by electrons, which were pictured as discrete particles with set orbits almost like the orbits of planets in a solar system. This model was falsified by the predictions of quantum theory, which offers an alternate vision of electrons as surrounding the nucleus in a diffuse cloud of probable positions.
The uncertainty principle prevents simultaneous knowledge of an electron's position and energy level. For each permissible energy level, the electron has a range of positions in which it could exist, and for every position it could be in, a range of energy levels is possible.
Factored together, these potential states form a cloud around the atom. The cloud is in some ways a mathematical abstraction, but the abstraction has a physical reality, as the electron clouds of neighboring atoms do not normally overlap, though the potential states of electrons in a single atom form a single, uniform cloud.Learn more about Atoms & Molecules
Erwin Schrodinger’s atomic cloud model revolutionized the way scientists viewed the structure of the atom. Building on the work of Neils Bohr, Schrodinger demonstrated that it was impossible to determine the exact location of the electron at a particular point in time. Instead, Schrodinger’s model showed that an electron could be found in some portion of an electron “cloud” at any specific point in time.Full Answer >
The electron cloud of an atom is the area outside an atom's nucleus in which electrons exist. The Bohr model of the atom, popular in the early 20th century, was disproven by quantum physics theories put forth by Werner Heisenberg.Full Answer >
An excited state electron configuration refers to an atom with electrons at a higher energy level than is necessary. An excited state differs from a ground state, which is when all of the atom's electrons are in the their lowest possible orbital.Full Answer >
An atom that has gained one or more electrons is called an anion. It is also known as a negative ion. A positive ion, or a cation is one that has lost one or more electrons.Full Answer >