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Atom in a Box 1.1

Real-Time Visualization of the Quantum Mechanical Atomic Orbitals.

License / Price:
Shareware / $20.00
Last Updated:
2009-12-15
Operating System:
Mac OS X
Publisher:
Dauger Research, Inc

Description of Atom in a Box 1.1

EditByBrothersoft: The orbital images on this page represent the shape of the Atomic orbitals. The Clouds you see are the probability distribution of an electron bound to a Hydrogen nucleus.

These images were created using Atom in a Box, a scientific and educational program that aids in visualizing the Hydrogenic atomic orbitals, a prime and otherwise unwieldy example of Quantum mechanics.

By applying these techniques to the hydrogen atom, physicists are able to precisely predict all of its properties. The electron eigenstates around the nucleus are called "orbitals", in a rough correspondence with how the Moon orbits the Earth. We find that these states do not allow the electron to crash into the nucleus, but instead find themselves in any combination of these orbital eigenstates. These orbitals' physical structure describe effects from how atoms bond to form compounds, magnetism, the size of atoms, the structure of crystals, to the structure of matter that we see around us.

Visualizing these states has been a challenge, because the mathematics that describe the eigenfunctions are not simple and the states are a three-dimensional structures. The standard convention has the orbital eigenstates indexed by three interrelated integer indicies, called n, l, and m. Their range and interdependence comes out of the math in deriving the eigenstates. n can range from 1 to infinity. l can range from 0 to n-1. m can range from -l to +l. They also have physical meaning. The energy of the state, which is negative because the electron is bound to the nucleus, depends only on n and increases as n increases. l refers to the amount of angular momentum the electron has due to its "orbit" around the nucleus. l is not equal to the amount of angular momentum but goes up as angular momentum goes up. m determines how much of the angular momentum is in the z direction. (However, the rest of the angular momentum is not l minus m or anything that simple. That's a long story that I can't FIT here.

Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher
Platform: PPC / Intel

Download Atom in a Box 1.1

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