Why can't electrons exist in the atom nucleus?
- AbeLincolnPartyLv 62 weeks ago
An electron would lose its identity in the nucleus by neutralizing a proton to make a neutron. It sometimes happens in what is called K capture. Now this just comes from my general chemistry understanding, I do not know any profound theory on the subject.Source(s): college level general chemistry
- 3 weeks ago
↗Electrons Can and DO EXIST within the nucleus
↗Electrons in the atom do enter the nucleus. In fact, electrons in the "s" states tend to peak at the nucleus.
↗ Electrons are not little balls that can fall into the nucleus under electrostatic attraction. Rather, electrons are quantized wavefunctions that spread out in space and can sometimes act like particles in limited ways.
↗ An electron in an atom spreads out according to its energy. The states with more energy are more spread out.
↗ All electron states overlap with the nucleus, so the concept of an electron "falling into" or "entering" the nucleus does not really make sense. Electrons are always partially in the nucleus.
- cosmoLv 74 weeks ago
They do. The exact calculation of energy states of atoms must take into account the time electrons spend in the nucleus.
- davidLv 74 weeks ago
Some talk about a finite probability that electrons can exist in the nucleus, but don't bother to tell you what that probability is. Probabilities this small are essentially 0. Math formulas can calculate lots of theoretical stuff --- but is it real? I do not believe so. In the late 1890s until about 1920 Atomic theory did not know that neutrons exist. The theory was that the nucleus contained extra protons and electrons that neutralized them to create the atomic masses of the elements. Carbon had 12protns and 6 electrons in the nucleus so the mass was 12 but the nuclear charge was only 6.
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- The_Doc_ManLv 74 weeks ago
Actually, they can. The wave function for electrons in the nucleus is low but not zero. There is a type of radioactive decay called K-capture in which a proton and electron neutralize each other to cause the atom to drop one in atomic number. That is an example of an electron being close enough to the nucleus to directly interact with it.
- pisgahchemistLv 74 weeks ago
Electrons can exist in the nucleus. There is a finite probability that an electron in an s-orbital can exist in the nucleus.
- oldprofLv 71 month ago
Oh but they can. And when one uses quantum modeling we can see that there is a rare event but finite probability that an electron will find itself within the nucleus. Won't stay long, but it'll visit and poof off to somewhere else close but not in the nucleus most likely.
- ZirpLv 71 month ago
because they would merge with a proton and cease to exist
- DrBob1Lv 71 month ago
They can exist in the nucleus. s Electrons have a spherical distribution and the nucleus has a tiny, but real, volume. Mossbauer spectroscopy measures this electron density in the nucleus of suitable elements.
- lenpol7Lv 71 month ago
They can exist in the nucleus. However when they are there they are combined with a proton to form a neutron. Rather than being chemistry , this question is more about nuclear physics.
My concept of electrons and the nucleus, is thinking of the Earth and the clouds around the Earth. The Earth is the nucleus, and the clouds are the electron cloud around the nucleus. Electrons have a duality of character. You may think of them as a 'dot/point' , but this is the centre of gravity/mass of the electron. It exists as a 'cloud' and like the clouds around the Earth, it is denser at some points(cloudy sky) a much less dense at other points (clear blue sky).
The charges on the particles are opposite. The protons are positive charge and the electrons are negative charge. By attraction like a magnet the two should combine, but they don't. This is because the electron cloud has energy and moves about the nucleus; a moving object is harder to catch than a static object. Like the planets of the Solar System , they have energy and move in orbits around the Sun , other wise with little or no energy we would all crash into the Sun.
Hope that helps to understand electrons.!!!!