THIS is important because (in a Classical description) the radius of the electron orbits CAN and ARE very slowly altered, due to an effect of gyroscopic precessional motion. IF we could watch individual orbits, we would not be able to detect the tiny alteration of the electron's semi=major orbital axis. But after millions of orbits, such slow and methodical changes DO have observable effects. In fact, BY THE TIME we can detect anything, the electrons ARE ALREADY in their most stable orbits. Since we have what I call SLOW EYES, we have never detected any electrons which have had any other orbits than the ones we know to be most stable. Specifically, if we were to TOSS AN EXTRA ELECTRON into the vicinity of an ionized Hydrogen atom, with NO specific preferred orbit or angular inclination, within an incredibly short interval of time, we would see that electron in an orbit that we know to be stable.
In other words, if we had FASTER EYES, we would see TRANSITIONS over those millions of orbits to result in stable orbits, NO MATTER WHAT conditions the electron had when it entered the atom.
THIS is quite different from the ASSUMPTION that has always been blindly applied and accepted. An experiment is done to disrupt the electron(s) in an atom. Then the ASSUMPTION is that the electron (somehow) is suddenly and instantly in a stable orbit in that atom. THAT assumption is amazingly poor! With this realization of our SLOW EYES and the recognition that electron orbits can be and are SLOWLY altered due to gyroscopic precessional effects, we NOW have a much clearer understanding of how and why electrons can always seem to have ONLY stable orbits!
It may be that an original incorrect assumption was made, on which all Quantum Physics relies! There might be little actual validity in even the basic concepts of Quantum Physics, as the following reasoning seems to indicate.
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Whether one considers atomic structure as being traditional or in quantum terms, the velocities involved are extremely high and the distances are extremely small. In traditional terms, this results in electrons orbiting the nucleus many billions of times every second. For the moment, I ask that you momentarily forget the Pauli Exclusion Principle and the other Quantum-related concepts, and just see the electrons as initially orbiting somewhat randomly. A premise will be suggested that very subtle and slow perturbations might occur, which, over millions and billions of orbits, might result in the strict orbital limitations that we observe.
In the Solar System, there are a number of obvious patterns that exist. Asteroids orbit the Sun over a distributed range of distances from the Sun EXCEPT at those distances where the asteroids would have orbital periods which were simple fractions of the orbital period of the planet Jupiter. Saturn and several other planets have sets of rings which have the same characteristics, having gaps at distances which correspond to orbital periods that are simple fractions of one or another massive moon. The four Galilean moons of Jupiter have orbital periods which are close to but not exactly in the ratio of 1:2:4:8. Jupiter and Saturn have orbital periods which are described as the "Long Inequality" of being very close to but not exactly in the ratio of 2:5. Early in modern astronomy, an interesting relationship called Bode's Law was noticed regarding the distances of the planets from the Sun.
The important consideration for this discussion is that, whatever the mechanism which created these apparently stable or meta-stable relationships, they developed over long periods of time. More accurately, over thousands or even millions of orbits. Within the probably five billion year lifetime of the Solar System, an interval of twelve million years for a million revolutions of the planet Jupiter is but an instant. If a snapshot, or a frame of a movie, of the Solar System was taken every twelve million years, and if some subtle mechanism caused such alignments of the Galilean moons and all the rest, in one frame there might appear relatively random motion of planets and satellites, while in the next frame, the orderly motion we now witness would be seen.
Note that with such a camera or movie, we would only see an apparent "instantaneous" transition into an organized state. If that was our only evidence, we might easily conclude that there is some unseen Quantum principle at work which disallowed planets or satellites from being in orbits other than the stable ones we would see appear. Since we have a much broader collection of data regarding gravitation and astronomy, we would easily see that such a conclusion was incorrect. The error of our conclusion would be due to the very long time intervals between views we would be observing.
Combining these two concepts seems to imply that our views on atomic behavior suffer from similar long intervals. No matter how quickly we try to observe an atom after some experiment that alters or disrupts one or more electrons' orbits, it is always true that many millions of orbits occurred during that interval before the observation. If a phenomenon resembling that which somehow causes Solar System patterns exists, then we will ALWAYS see nice organized electron orbitals and shells and the rest.
The implication here is that such "allowed" orbits as we observe may not be due to any Quantum effects after all. The observed situations might just be a natural result of some slow-acting phenomenon, acting over millions and billions of orbits.
In Mechanical Engineering, there is a field of "Forced Vibration" which developed to analyze unexpected destruction of some rotating machinery, certain bridges such as the Tacoma Narrows, certain tall smokestacks and towers, and assorted other mechanical creations. Every such object has "natural frequencies" and harmonics of them. If a disturbing force happens to have its own natural frequency (and harmonics), then the equations of Forced Vibration analysis can be used to calculate the effects. If the two frequencies are identical, or related by simple fractions such that harmonics would become prominent, machinery almost invariably immediately fails due to extreme forces that occur. However, when frequencies are slowly brought close but not exactly to such a simple fractions, a second-order effect can occur which provides a meta-stability. Equally importantly, there is a very small effect which modifies the frequency relationship.
In astronomical applications, (for simplicity, temporarily assuming circular orbits), the distance between Jupiter and an asteroid is relatively close to being a sinusoidal function, with the period being the synodic period which applies. The fact that the actual distance is slightly non-sinusoidal, in combination with orbits that are not precisely circular or co-planar, enables Forced Vibration effects to occur to the asteroid. All of the orbital elements of the asteroid can be affected. The orbital period can be around ten minutes different from what it would be if Jupiter were not present. In most situations, the orbital eccentricity tends to become less and so does the orbital inclination. These are all rather small second-order effects, but after many thousands of orbits, the affected object tends to have an orbit that is nearly circular and nearly co-planar with Jupiter or whatever the gravitational source of the forcing vibration.
If and when the affected object gets into an orbit that has a period which is an exact fraction of the perturbing source, the magnification effect of Forced Vibration greatly increases the perturbative force and its effects. This eliminates the perturbed object remaining in that situation for any time, but it can definitely pass through such a distance.
The result of these two effects, a second-order forced-vibration effect TOWARD such a situation, along with the extreme aversion due to the magnification effect exactly at such synchronicity, creates two meta-stable available orbits. One is just outside and the other inside the unstable exact commensurable period orbit. This then provides a meta-stable relationship between orbital periods of the perturbing and the perturbed object.
These Astrophysics considerations were first developed in August 2001,
and published on the Internet on December 10, 2001 in two web-page
The astronomical description was repeated here because it seems most easily conceptualized. However, the identical logic would apply regarding atomic electron orbits. Gravitation is an attractive inverse square relationship. The electrostatic attraction between the negatively charged electron and the positively charged nucleus is also an attractive inverse square relationship. If such resonance and forced vibration effects occur after millions of orbits in gravitational systems, and the Solar System contains numerous evidence that they do, then the same resonance and forced vibration effect seem likely regarding electron orbits.
This appears to result in a very simple and obvious explanation of why we only observe very specific orbits for electrons, without having to rely on "Exclusion Principles" or other arguments that do not seem to have reliable theoretical foundations.
This premise makes several predictions regarding nuclear structure by consequence. The most prominent is that each "final orbit" which we might observe, should really be a pair of closely-spaced meta-stable orbits. A specific electron might easily transition back and forth between the two (possibly to momentary perturbations by other electrons) and so ALL observed spectral lines should be extremely close doubles. It is my understanding that this is being empirically found in many cases. This premise suggests that it is an unavoidable consequence that every spectral line would have to be doubled in this way.
There would appear to be predictions regarding the tendency toward circular orbits and co-planar orbits. There seem to be many implications of such effects, particularly regarding electrical and magnetic behavior of some or all elements.
Further study would have to be made regarding why and when a photon might be emitted or absorbed. It may be important to determine just how many orbits are actually necessary for the meta-stabilities to develop. If billions of orbits are necessary, then it might be very difficult to explain why a photon was emitted at a specific moment. However, if only thousands of orbits are necessary, then a disrupted electron, or a new electron addition (by ionization) would be able to transition into a meta-stable orbit in an extremely short interval, possibly short enough to explain how/why all the energy released by that (multi-orbit) transition might be able to become bundled in one photon.
The basic concept regarding nuclear implications of the Forced Vibration phenomenon was developed in August 2001 and published in December 2001 on the Internet.
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C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago