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Atomic Physics

Last updated date: 09th Apr 2024
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Facts You Must Know About Atomic Physics

Atomic physics is one of the most prominent spheres that is generally covered in the higher studies related to the subject. It deals with the study of the nucleus and the electrons present in an atom of any matter. As an in-depth study,  the total atomic structure is termed as an isolated system. As per the development of atomic physics as a field of study and research, texts as early as the 6th and 2nd century BC have evidence that people then used to believe that all matters are composed of atoms. Later, John Dalton, a British physicist, and chemist improved the basic theory and did complete documentation in the 18th century. 

More Details of Atomic Physics

Atomic physics deals with the concept of the atomic structure and its changes in different situations. Moreover, atomic and molecular physics merge up and eases human beings to use atomic energy in various ways. While studying it, a student can understand how an atom interacts with another. Moreover, he can also understand how the states of atom Atomic physics also relate to quantum mechanics and it is one of the pillars of modern physics. Theoretical atomic physics can be better understood by Bohr’s model and all other scientific theorems related to it. This theorem is the foundation of basic nuclear physics. 

Bohr’s Model

The Bohr model is a diagrammatic and mathematical representation of the Hydrogen atom that enables you to know about atomic physics. Here the electron jumps orbit ( while being in a stable atomic structure) and produces some electromagnetic energy. This also leads to a change in the quantum number.

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The Three Postulates That You Should Know About the Bohr Model are as Follows:

  1. The electron always takes a circular path to move around the nucleus of the atom

  2. In the stable condition, the election orbit satisfies the first quantization

  3. All electrons can move to a higher energy orbit and it needs energy En. 

The main outcome of the Bohr Model is the production of the Balmer Series and the emission of red light (Photon wavelength 656 nm). 

Concept of Isolated Atom

Although atomic physics gives students a lot of knowledge regarding the atom and molecule, it is based on the concept of an isolated atom. This means the study of molecule formation will not come in atomic physics. 

In this field, you should never consider an atom as a part of solid or condensed matter. The study of nuclear particles and the process of ionization comes under the chapters of atomic physics. You can also know how excitation takes place within an atom collision takes place. 

Plasma physics and atmospheric physics stands upon the concepts of isolated atoms and are directly related to atomic physics. However, as per reality, both atmospheric and plasma physics deal with a huge mass of atoms. 

Applications of Atomic Physics

Atomic physics has many applications. The most common of all relates to the electron microscope. It runs on the electron beam for image creation that has got a high resolution. The electron microscopes are largely used in laboratories and scientific research centers.

As per the scientific concept, the electron microscopes have minimum de Broglie wavelengths. So, the resolution of the field image is much better than what you can see in natural light. 

The laser mechanism also works on the Atomic physics model. Here, one photon can move from one laser mirror to another. These mirrors are highly sensitive when it comes to reflection. Once the photon starts moving to and fro due to the reflection, it automatically gets amplified.

The lasers have now become an integral part of modern society and it is used in many ways. So, if you are willing to know about lasers and work in the same industry, knowledge of atomic physics is a must for you. 

Fun Facts about Atomic Physics

Some Fun Facts About Atoms and Atomic Physics are Given Here in Details:

  • An atom is composed of subatomic particles and they also exert energy while reacting with other particles.

  • There are over 100 variations of atoms. Eight of them are man-made. 

  • While studying atomic physics you might also have to study anti-matter that is the opposite of matter and it acts as the complete opposite of a matter. 

  • The neutrons have got such a name because they have no charge, They are neutral in nature and present in the nucleus of the atom along with the protons. 

FAQs on Atomic Physics

1.  Is it Possible for the Atoms to Touch Each Other?

Answer: As the atom is completely a scientific structure, the word touch has a different definition in the case of atomic physics. There are three possibilities for an atom to ‘get in touch with each other. Firstly, the atoms can influence each other while a reaction takes place. Secondly, atoms of two objects can influence each other in such a manner that a significant change takes place.  Thirdly, a phenomenon can occur where two atoms can reside at the same place. In all these three instances, you can consider one atom touching the other. It is possible as there are no hard boundaries in between the atoms. Rather, the orbitals (cloud-like structures) are present in the atoms.  

2. An Atom does Not Collapse Even If it Does Not Have a Hard Boundary: Why So?

Answer: Many science books state the concept of ‘empty atom’ at the elementary level but it is just a misconception. There is no space between the subatomic particles. There are cloud-like fields that stay in space due to the energy. If the particles are even flashed out, there would be new particles that would take their place. However the mass of the atom is subjected to the mass of its nucleus, the electrons also take the space. So, to study atomic physics at the university level, it is always vital to clear all the concepts right from the elementary level. The concepts of the orbital would however be present in the secondary level. 

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