Quantum Mechanics 10 - Stability of the Atom

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A discussion of how the zero point energy of atoms is what makes possible their existence in our universe – atoms are purely quantum mechanical objects.

Learning Outcomes:

• Continuation of QM-9: A calculus-based derivation of the zero point energy of the quantum harmonic oscillator.

• How our previous understanding of energy quantization and zero point energy can be applied also to the hydrogen atom.

• Why classical atoms cannot exist in our universe, and how the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and associated zero point energy stabilizes atoms, making their existence possible.