Category Hydrogen Atom

How is it possible to make nothing out of something?

There is a fundamental conflict between the currently accepted interpretation of Maxwell’s equations and the absence of an ether like medium. Maxwell’s equations purport to show that a changing magnetic field induces an electric field and a changing electric field induces a magnetic field.  Taken together these two coupled fields oscillate and the whole propagates […]

Hydrogenic Atoms and the Bohr Model

As we move up the periodic table atoms get heavier. They do so because the nuclei of heavier atoms contain more protons.  In addition to the protons these heavier nuclei also contain another type of particle; the neutron, roughly equal in mass to the proton, but itself electrically neutral. So while the hydrogen atom comprises […]

Zero Point Energy

The kinetic theory of heat was first proposed by the Swiss scientist Daniel Bernoulli in 1738 in a publication entitled Hydrodynamica. In it he proposed that gasses were composed of molecules all moving in different directions and that pressure is felt as a result of collisions between these molecules and the container walls.  Phenomena associated […]

Einstein and Bohr and the nature of reality

Perhaps the most important scientific debate of the 20th Century was that which took place between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein during the 1930’s and 40’s. At issue was the very nature of reality. By that time Bohr had become convinced that the laws of physics had to be different on the scale of the […]

Schrödinger’s Quantum Stagecoach!

One of the most popular film genres of the 20th Century was the Cowboy or Western and one of the most popular themes in western movies was that of the stagecoach. The stagecoach provided movie makers with a powerful metaphor. Outside the environment was hostile, full of Indians or outlaws, hell bent on doing evil […]

William of Occam

A Close Shave for a Mediaeval Monk

The tiny village of Ockham is located about 7 miles north east of the Guildford in southern England. Its history is largely agricultural and it currently boasts a population of just under 400, probably not much different to the Ockham of the middle ages when Ockham was home to its most famous son, William of Occam (mediaeval spelling […]

Johannes Rydberg

The Rydberg Formula

In Sampling the Hydrogen Atom I introduced the idea that the orbital velocity of the electron is close to light speed and is itself affected by relativity. Derivation of the Rydberg formula based on this model is very straightforward and I think rather elegant. The story starts with Joseph Jakob Balmer (1825-1898) who was a Swiss […]