This TED ED video is a great little primer on electrons and where they actually are within an atom. The other week when I got all confused about the electrons in palladium, I asked a chemist and a physicist to explain what I was missing. And they both did a fine job, but it’s nice to see the answers here in adorably animated form, and to really revel in their meaning.
"How electrons from one atom interact with electrons from another determines almost everything…From plain old rocks to the beautiful complexity of life, the nature of everything we see, hear, smell, taste, touch, and even feel is determined at the atomic level.”
Man, I love chemistry.
Electrons really don’t get a fair shake when it comes to science class. We spend so much time saying that they do this, and look like that, only to surprise people when they get to college:
"Just kidding! All of that was just the kid version! Because quantum physics!"
This TED-Ed video does it right. While we may be taught to look at orbitals as planetary orbits that are filled in an orderly fashion from one end of the periodic table to the other, real electrons are known to act like the very definition of wave/particle duality, a fuzzy cloud of quantumy-wantumy stuff.
In short, watch this lesson and you’ll never look at an orbital the same way again. You’ll look at it in a more beautiful and satisfying way than ever before. And hopefully with just the right amount of awe.
Follow it up with TED-Ed’s look at just how small an atom really is (HINT: Small enough to make your head explode)
PS - I love chemistry, too, Chels.