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Name: John
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: MA
Country: N/A
Date: 9/5/2005


Question:
What forces exist between an orbiting electron and the nucleus. I am sure of electrostatic and gravitational, but what about magnetic?


Replies:
There is the coulombic electrostatic force (quantum mechanical, not classical), and there is a magnetic interaction between the electron's spin and the spin of a nucleus (most nucleii have spin) which gives rise to splitting of electronic states of an atom. The gravitational attraction is extremely small however due to the small mass of the electron and nucleii. In addition there are small interactions due to higher order interactions between nucleii that are not spherical (e.g. quadrapole interactions).

Vince Calder



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