# What do scientists use to predict the locations of electrons in atoms?

##### 2 Answers

Algebra and calculus: Heisenberg's uncertainity principle

#### Explanation:

According to Werner Heisenberg, it is not possible to find out the location of an electron moving with high speed with precision.

Heisenberg's uncertainity principle is why they have to predict, I suggest reading further into that, as it's quite detailed.

Algebra, calculus and a cheeki bit of good ol' probability is used to guess where it's flying about

Their main tool is the Schrödinger equation.

#### Explanation:

The **Schrödinger equation** is a complicated mathematical equation that describes the allowed energy levels of an electron and the probabilities of finding an electron in one of the regions corresponding to those energy levels.

This gives us our familiar pictures of

The orbital boundaries are not sharp like in the picture.

Rather, they are the **90 % probability** boundaries — the boundaries within which you can expect to find the electron 90 % of the time.

Then they use rules like the **Pauli exclusion principle** and **Hund's rule** to decide which orbital an electron will be in.

Finally, they use other physics formulas to decide just how big the orbital is.