Atom Self-Constructs

My fantasy atom assembles itself in this animation. First the nucleus appears. Then one-by-one electrons arrive. They are free particles until they are snatched up by a ravenous nuclear electrical field and transformed into circular atomic orbits. They instantly become matter waves (Louis de Broglie) keyed to an energy level or shell. The electrons have entered with only a small mass, their negative electrical charge and a top-like spin. Within their orbit, revolving at one percent of the speed of light, the negative electrical charge is smeared throughout the matter-wave ring and provides an orbital magnetic field. Unlike light waves matter-waves are impenetrable to one another (Pauli principle) enabling the electrons to pack the atom’s shells like eggs in a box. With these sets of forces the electrons interact with one another and build shells. Larger shells admit more electrons. When a shell is filled new members begin another shell until finally all energy states are filled and the whole atom becomes electrically neutral.

Animation by Ken Snelson & Jon Monaghan