The electron

In the old days, an electron knew its place: it was a particle which could whiz round and round in one of several well-defined orbits which surrounded the nucleus of an atom, like planets around a sun. Under the right conditions, it could mysteriously ‘jump’ between these orbits without actually existing anywhere in between. But modern quantum theory now talks more vaguely of a cloud-like distribution of probabilities of finding an electron in any of several discrete energy levels; and although it accepts that the electron sometimes behaves as a particle, it says it can also behave like a wave. The electron has an identity crisis . . .


O pity the electron, it’s not sure what it is:
A wave, a particle, or both? It’s always in a tizz.
It seems to get from here to there in steps that aren’t contiguous –
A schizophrenic entity that’s spatially ambiguous.

[Image: aureas.org]
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