How do electrons move in the electron cloud?

1 Answer
Feb 6, 2017

They are essentially in constant orbit, similar to planets around a star.


The description of electron orbitals as a “cloud” is simply a graphical way to try to understand better the governing probability of location in the energy equation. It is no more a real “cloud” than the original pure “orbit” of the Bohr model was realistic. Both are ways for us to try to ” what is happening on an atomic scale in order to better understand how our observations of the physical world relate to fundamental ‘rules’.

The Bohr model defined the role and relative position of the electrons with respect to the central protons and neutrons. The “cloud” model shows the range of values the “position” of an electron can have at any particular time in its orbit about the nucleus. These are useful in understanding the nature of bonding between atoms.