Quantum Physics - Quantum Dynamics

A Potential Improvement

  • Physicists were trying to figure out basic facts regarding atomic structure during the 1920s and 1930s. In general, they made amazingly good assumptions and conclusions, and the knowledge base grew rapidly.

  • But given the fact that so little was actually known about any of the related subjects, and the astoundingly small size of atoms, it is natural that they made some mistakes. (The size of atoms is suggested by the fact that if 100,000,000 atoms could be somehow lined up in a row, that row would not even be as long as the WIDTH of your little finger!) TWO of those mistakes they made in the 1920s and `1930s have caused misunderstandings which still haunt modern Nuclear Physics. Actually, their incorrect understanding of those wrong assumptions was actually the entire basis for the beginning of what came to be called Quantum Dynamics! Along with an earlier incorrect assumption, the field of Nuclear Physics has been a lot more complicated than it ever needed to be!

  • One of the two bad assumptions was related to the observed FACT that we only ever are aware of electrons which have very specific orbits, that is, kinetic energy. It was incorrectly assumed that this was due to a QUANTUM characteristic of electron behaviors in atoms, where the electrons COULD ONLY BE in certain orbits. All other possible orbits were assumed to be Excluded! (Entirely because they were never SEEN!)

Those Researchers (and all that have followed them) had overlooked how rapidly that electrons orbit the nucleus of an atom. The KNEW the information but then overlooked its significance! It was already well known that electrons orbit in atoms at speeds that are a substantial fraction of the speed of light! At such speeds, the time needed to travel the tiny circumference of an orbit is incredibly short. For example, the electron in every Hydrogen atom revolves around their nuclei several billion times every second. Why is this important? Because the detectors that science has are all rather SLOW! IF a detector captures an image of an atom AFTER some experiment has altered the atom, it may be 0.001 second after the alteration before we capture an image. That means that the electron of interest has completed many millions of orbits BEFORE we are ever aware of anything!

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!

When a Sodium atom combines with a Chlorine atom to form a salt molecule, the electron which gets transferred from being around the Chlorine atom to now being around the Sodium atom, is NOT smart enough to know how much "quantum" energy the new atom will expect of it! IF it had any previous knowledge of expected energy levels in the Chlorine atom (to then enter into ONLY an allowed Quantum energy state), all the rules changed when the electron now has to participate in the Sodium atom. It is clearly NECESSARY for the energy state of the electron to have to be ALTERED in order to now seem to comply with the DIFFERENT Quantum energy states of the new atom. In fact, we experimentally SEE that a specific amount of radiation (color of light) is either radiated away or absorbed to enable that chemical reaction to occur. THIS new insight provides an explanation for that process.

The Other wrong assumption which was made by those early Physicists is related to a known (macroscopic) effect of charged objects moving in a circular orbits (which the negatively-charged electrons clearly do in the process of orbiting the nucleus. The bad assumption was in applying the MACROSCOPIC interpretation to the sub-microscopic realm of an atom. But once they made that assumption, then the Classical Model of the atom would clearly be impossible, as the continually accelerating electron would necessarily radiate energy away, thereby losing kinetic energy and circling inward toward the nucleus where it would be absorbed within a second. THAT argument IS rather compelling, if it were true, and since it was ASSUMED to be true, it essentially FORCED a variety of attempts to try to eliminate this obvious problem. Quantum Dynamics became extremely popular, due to a vagueness in its description! Rather than describing the energy of electrons as being KINETIC energy of orbital motion, Quantum instead chose to refer to an indefinite CLOUD in which the electron must be! This actually does NOT solve the issue of radiation being emitted, but instead muddles the issue into a more complex idea where the energy content of an electron is defined as undefined! The arguments always therefore refer to PROBABILITIES regarding WHERE an electron might be, while entirely neglecting any consideration of the ENERGY in that electron! It was a way to weasel past having to try to explain the Conservation Laws applying for orbiting electrons!

That approach forces quite a few necessary conclusions which are illogical! For example, IF whatever it is that represents the electron is NOT orbiting, then there could be no orbital dynamics to maintain an orbit! The negatively-charged electron would clearly and logically immediately head directly for the nucleus, and the atom would cease to exist as an atom! If there is a CLOUD OF ENERGY which is revolving around the nucleus, in order to provide the kinetic energy of orbital motion, then the fact that Einstein taught us that a revolving cloud of energy IS representable by an OBJECT (mass-energy equivalence) which we would then call an electron, and we would again face the macroscopic assumption of continuously radiation energy from every electron.

THAT assumption has been adopted so absolutely, that ALL of the other Laws of Physics have been abandoned in trying to use Quantum Physics to describe the atom. Amusingly, the fact that the energy content was overlooked in first devising this Quantum approach, even means that this Quantum approach does not actually even resolve the issue in Classical Mechanics which it claimed to solve!

The resolution of this issue, within Classical Mechanics, is due to that equivalence of mass and energy, per Einstein. Yes, the curved path of orbital motion DOES require acceleration, and that DOES then produce a bundle of energy which might become radiated away. However, the precessional effects necessarily CREATE kinetic motion of the precessional motion, and this effect is such that it ABSORBS exactly the amount of radiation which would get produced (by our macroscopic laws).

The result of this is that the orbiting electron DOES produce a specific amount of radiation energy, but it then always re-absorbs that radiation energy such that no net radiation ever occurs or is ever detected.

There is also an alternative description which was even available to those Physicists in the 1920s and 1930s. Einstein had already taught the world that energy and mass are interchangeable and indistinguishable. Everyone already accepted that photons sometimes showed evidence of being particles (mass) (such as in the Photoelectric Effect) and at other times showed evidence of being waves (energy). The point here is that they SHOULD HAVE realized that electrons are ALSO sometimes particles and sometimes energy! So in any experiment that might have confronted a macroscopic-style issue, the electron might simply have then been behaving as energy, where no generation of radiation would have been involved. So, those early Physicists SHOULD HAVE immediately dismissed the concern of a curved-path orbiting electron having to radiate energy away, and simply treated the electrons then as pure energy!

This description MIGHT require that electron "orbits" are actually SEGMENTED ORBITS. During a STRAIGHT portion of the orbit, no radiation would be produced, and such radiation would only be produced at the vertices of the segmented orbit. Again, the radiation that is then created is immediately re-absorbed to counter the energy effects of kinetic energy for precessional motion.

Quantum Physics has been a wonderfully useful concept. However, it seems that it was only necessary because we humans have "slow eyes"!

Quantum Physics was developed in the 1920s and 1930s because all the evidence seemed to show that electrons could only exist in certain specific (orbital) energy states, and that the associated radiation only occurred or was absorbed at specific energy contents/wavelengths.

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It was extremely logical that the early researchers came to the conclusion that energy had to exist as "bundles" or quanta. But there seems to be good evidence that they made an unfortunate assumption in that reasoning.

Yes, in any experiment that we could do, the evidence is definitely as they found. However, when we "perturb" a lot of atoms (with external energy or other effects), our research can never determine the resulting conditions "instantly" as has been assumed. In fact, it is rarely possible, even today, to determine that resulting situation more quickly than, say, one one-millionth of a second after the perturbing effect.

Electron Dynamics in a Hydrogen Atom

If we use the Hamiltonian approach regarding total energy of an electron, regarding a Hydrogen nucleus (a proton), at an infinite distance away, we can say that there is zero potential energy and also zero kinetic energy, for a total of zero. As that electron falls toward the proton, it loses potential energy (therefore a negative amount), given by k * e / r. Since it is possible to ionize a Hydrogen atom, entirely removing the electron to an infinite distance, this energy amount is very well known, at 13.59844 electron-volt.

The electron also gains kinetic energy of motion in revolving about the nucleus of 1/2 * m * v2. (a positive amount). These two amounts of energy must remain equal, in order to Conserve Energy in totaling to the initial zero total energy of the Hamiltonian.

Therefore, the kinetic energy of revolution of the electron around the proton nucleus must also be 13.59844 electron-volt. One electron-volt is equal to 1.602 * 10-12 erg, or gram-cm2/sec2. This means that we know that the Potential energy of the electron in a Hydrogen atom is 2.17847 * 10-11 erg. We know the electron mass is equal to 9.109 * 10-23 gram. Therefore, we can solve for the kinetic orbital velocity, or 6.916 * 105 cm/sec. This is around 7 km/sec or over 15,000 mph.

We know the diameter of the electron's path around the Hydrogen nucleus as being about 10-8 cm. This means the circumference of that orbit is about 3.1 * 10-8 cm. We now have the speed of the electron in that orbit and the distance it goes, so we can calculate how many times it revolves per second. This give 2.231 * 10+13 revolutions per second. Electrons in hydrogen atoms therefore normally revolve around 22 trillion times every second.

If an experiment takes a millionth of a second to determine the resulting condition, this means that the electron has revolved over 22 million times before it is seen to be in its resulting "Quantum" orbit. And this seems to be an indication that we have "slow eyes".

Why might this be important? If the assumption was correct in that the electron INSTANTLY achieves its orbit, then no other changes would occur and Quantum Physics would be absolutely true. However, the calculations above show that many millions of electron orbits must have occurred before we would even be aware of them. And why might THAT be important?

We note that negatively charged electrons orbit the positively charged nucleus due entirely to the inverse square electrostatic attraction between them. We also note that planets orbit the Sun due entirely to the inverse square gravitational attraction between them.

Planetary Arrangements

For hundreds of years, astronomers have known of surprising patterns among the planets and moons in the Solar System. Titius-Bode's Law showed a simple (near) mathematical relationship between the orbital radii of all the planets (except the outermost Neptune). The four large moons of Jupiter revolve with periods that are very near being in the ratio of 1:2:4:8 (with the outermost being the most off of this relationship). The many thousands of asteroids are in orbits that have queer Kirkwood gaps in them, at places where their periods would have been simple fractions of the orbital period of Jupiter. Many other systems of moons have such near commensurabilities in them. The rings of Saturn (and other planets) have gaps which relate to the orbital periods of moons around those same planets, akin to the asteroids and Jupiter.

These are NOT just random coincidences! AND we all know that they did not develop "instantly". No one has yet presented a good theory regarding how or why such curious patterns exist among planets and moons (see Part 2 of this presentation for a new approach). But however they developed, it is clear that many thousands or millions of orbits were necessary before "mutual perturbations" eventually caused the observed (near) simple relationships.

See the connection? With planets, we only see a limited number of orbits, and don't have any way of knowing how many thousands or millions of years ago that major perturbations occurred, or whether as in the Jovian system, the four Galilean moons appear to exchange angular momentum through mutual perturbations. With atoms, we ONLY can see a situation after many millions of orbits have occurred after a perturbation. A seemingly logical conclusion is that the SAME dynamics are involved, both situations being inverse square attraction systems. It is just that in one case, we only see a few or a few hundred orbits and in the other, countless millions of orbits.

Therefore, this reasoning concludes that what Quantum Physics sees as "discrete states" are really that only because we are incapable of watching the processes during the millions of orbits prior to what we are able to see. That Quantum Physics is that only because of our limitations regarding having "faster eyes".

It turns out that this comparison may have many additional side benefits regarding understandings. We know that (inner) electron orbital sub-shells can have a maximum of TWO or SIX electrons in them, and that a sub-shell is incomplete if fewer are resident in that sub-shell. Lagrange showed that there is a meta-stable solution for planetary motion where two planets could be on opposite sides of the Sun, i.e., two planets could share the same orbit. That solution is now called the L3 point. Note that this arrangement is very similar to two electrons sharing a single (s) sub-shell in an atom.

Lagrange also derived that there are L4 and L5 stable solutions for planetary orbits, where an object could revolve in the same orbit as a previous object, but 60° ahead of or behind the initial object. Among solar system objects, the asteroids that share Jupiter's orbit (called Trojan asteroids) are famous examples. The fact that these are STABLE solutions suggests that material might accumulate at those points in the solar system, and that eventually there might be three planets sharing Jupiter's orbit. Consider the situation once that would occur. NEW Lagrange points would exist 60° ahead of and behind these, and later still, a sixth planet might form, to result in six planets orbiting in Jupiter's orbit, all equally spaced from each other. Note that this arrangement is possibly very similar to the six electrons which can share a single (p) sub-shell in an atom.

There IS a difference between orbiting planets and orbiting electrons! The planets have a POSITIVE gravitational attraction to each other, while the negatively charged electrons have a NEGATIVE electrostatic repulsion to each other. However, the approach and equations of LaGrange seem to still be applicable and still result in LaGrange points. One main difference is that the L3 solution is now STABLE for electrons while it is unstable for planets. A similar effect exists for six electrons sharing a sub-orbital, where they repel each other if and when any get too close to any other, so that LaGrange situation which is stable for planets is even more stable for electrons.

The implications of this are huge! The central assumption of Quantum Physics, that electrons can ONLY be in specific orbits (Pauli exclusion principle, etc) IS true, but only of we look with "slow eyes". If, instead, we consider that millions of orbits certainly occurred in that millionth of a second before we can know any change, and we accept the possibility that very subtle perturbations could have been occurring during those orbits, then "traditional physics" becomes fully able of describing each of the phenomena now claimed explained by Quantum Physics.

The implications are also huge regarding astrophysics. Perturbation Theory is almost universally a numerical integration of known data points, without a lot of actual theory behind it! It works excellently as long as we are only concerned with a few orbits or a few hundred orbits. When it is used to make orbital predictions beyond a few hundred orbits, inaccuracies become quite significant.

The current premise considers thousands and millions of orbits, which is beyond the capability of current Perturbation Theory. The observed fact that near-commensurable orbital periods are seen in so many places in the solar system seems to insist that such relationships have developed over thousands and millions of orbits, even if we do not currently have any good mathematical or theoretical basis for what we see.


If we accept the many astronomical observations regarding near commensurable orbits as being more than just random results, then there must be some long term causation for them. It is commonly accepted that Jupiter greatly affects the much smaller asteroids, although BOTH are actually affected in the process in order to Conserve Energy and Angular Momentum. The fact that orbits are ellipses rather than circles, and inclined and oriented to each other in initially random ways, means that mutual perturbations occur. It is universally accepted that these effects can alter most of the orbital elements of each body. Current thinking says that the semi-major axis cannot be altered, because of the consequence of affecting Conservation laws. This current reasoning suggests that the Conservation Laws can still apply in certain cases of alterations in the semi-major axis. Again, this is generally accepted regarding asteroids.

A toy gyroscope can quickly show a related example of how this can happen, where Angular Momentum is clearly NOT Conserved in one specific situation. If you start a gyroscope spinning and place it on the usual pedestal, horizontally, it initially is not precessing! However, as soon as you release it, it ACCELERATES up to a precessional speed. This requires an (angular) acceleration, which Euler's Equations easily show to get the necessary Energy from a very slight lowering of the support angle of the gyro, so that gravitational potential energy has become converted into precessional kinetic energy. However, before the release, there was NO angular momentum of precession, which quickly self-develops after it is released. This is a violation of the Conservation of Angular Momentum!

If that is so, regarding slow transfers of angular momentum and energy from one planet to another, very long term patterns of commensurability can develop. Precise commensurability cannot long exist, though, because of the magnification factor effects of such resonances. In Mechanical Engineering terms, this is a field of "Forced Vibration" which addresses this situation which essentially has no Damping Factor. Therefore, the meta-stable results are NEARLY commensurable orbital relationships.

Accepting that both planetary dynamics and electron orbital dynamics are due to inverse-square attractive forces, then these same situations must occur within atomic electron configurations. There seems to even be some proof of that fact. The meta-stable near commensurability of astronomical orbits actually has TWO solutions, one just inward of the precise commensurability and the other just outward. This indicates that a planet or moon could equally be in either of two meta-stable orbits, with a semi-major axis slightly greater or less than the commensurable orbit would be. (Part 2 of this presentation will show that the Earth appears to be around 650,000 miles OUT from a 1:12 commensurability with Jupiter, while there is another meta-stable that was available to the Earth which is around 650,000 miles IN from that commensurability. These two potential orbits for the Earth are therefore each around 0.7% different in kinetic energy than a commensurable orbit would provide. Carrying this reasoning to electrons, each orbital should therefore be naturally twinned, where two meta-stable orbits should equally be possible for any electron. This would result in all spectral lines being closely doubled, and actually, closely quadrupled, because an electron transition could occur from either initial orbit to either final orbit. Such close doubling of spectral lines is observed.

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C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Univ of Chicago