Adapted for the Internet from:

Why God Doesn't Exist

    In his website at York University somewhere in Merrie Old England, Jim Clark has come up with a third version of the
    Quantum atom that is a little different than either Bohr’s or Born’s. [1] Clark begins his presentation by instructing us
    not to confuse an orbit with an orbital:

    “ When the a planet moves around the sun, you can plot a definite path for
     it which is called an orbit. A simple view of the atom looks similar and you
     may have pictured the electrons as orbiting around the nucleus. The truth
     is different, and electrons in fact inhabit regions of space known as orbitals.
     Orbits and orbitals sound similar, but they have quite different meanings.
     It is essential that you understand the difference between them.” [2]

    Thus with this seemingly inoffensive remark, Clark seemingly disintegrates Bohr’s planetary model in one fell blow.

    Bill: So what is an orbital, Professor Clark?

    Clark: Allow me explain student Bill…

    “ Suppose you had a single hydrogen atom and at a particular instant
     plotted the position of the one electron. Soon afterwards, you do the
     same thing, and find that it is in a new position. You have no idea how
     it got from the first place to the second. You keep on doing this over
     and over again, and gradually build up a sort of 3D map of the places
     that the electron is likely to be found. In the hydrogen case, the electron
     can be found anywhere within a spherical space surrounding the nucleus...
     Such a region of space is called an orbital. You can think of an orbital as
     being the region of space in which the electron lives.” [3]

    " An orbital is just a bit of space where there is a 95% chance of finding
      that particular  electron." [4]

    Bill: So why did they call it an orbital? Why couldn’t they just have called it a
    region?  Or maybe a Cage of Death so that freshmen wouldn’t confuse the
    motorcycle with the cage? After all, orbital sounds pretty much like orbit
    doesn't it?

    Clark: Well I don’t really know, Bill. Tradition, I guess. Perhaps it comes from
    Bohr’s old planetary model in which electrons orbited the nucleus. Yeah!
    That’s it! Orbital derives from the word orbit. Huh, can you believe it? I never
    realized that until now!

    Bill: So, is this ‘orbital’ that you are proposing a physical interpretation of the
    atom? Is an orbital a physical object?

    Clark: Well, yes and no. Not quite. You see, Bill, an orbital is formed by
    countless orbits of one H-atom electron. An orbital is the region within which
    we can mathematically find an electron.

    Bill: Oh. I see. So let’s see if I got this right, professor. The electron is this little
    bead that orbits a planet. We take all these orbits, not the electron bead, but its
    orbits and construct an orbital with them.

    Clark: Well… yes, more or less. The orbital is a region

    Bill: ...and if an orbit is an itinerary  -- you know, kinda like a movie of a bead
    around a bowling ball --  we are constructing each orbital with strips of film.
    Isn’t this like building an orbital with Mighty Mouse’s contrails?

    Clark: I wouldn’t exactly put it that way…

    Bill: ...and then you have  -- not the electron beads --  but these abstract
    contrails interacting and binding with others to form molecules? [5]

    Clark: Yes. I know. It is a bit counter-intuitive… but actually the 'region'
    analogy is somewhat misleading. So in order to avoid confusing you let’s
    scrap it altogether. Think of an orbital as an energy band.

    Bill: You what? An energy band? I thought you said that… How did the region
    convert to…

    Clark: Now with this model it is a piece of cake to show you how one energy
    level interacts with another.  

    Bill: But how did the set of orbits that became an orbital which is really a
    region become an energy band that now forms a bond with another orbit?

    Clark: Oh dear. I fear that you may not have taken the prerequisites for this
    course. But let’s see if I can bring you up to speed. Let’s forget about the
    electron, about its orbit, about the orbital, and about the region. Just think of
    energy levels. So we have a nucleus surrounded by an energy level. And the
    energy level of an H-atom now interacts with the energy level of another
    H-atom to form a covalent bond. For example, water consists of an oxygen
    atom covalently bonded to two hydrogen atoms each of which is bound to
    another water molecule via hydrogen bonds.

    Bill: You lost me, professor. I still didn’t get the part about how the itinerary
    of a particle becomes energy let alone the part where energy interacts with
    an orbit.

    Clark: Yes! It takes many years of schooling to understand this high level
    material. You should perhaps start at a lower ‘energy level’, ha, ha, ha.   

    Bill: You know what? I’m sorry professor. Can you believe it? I just realized
    that I’m in the wrong room. How stupid of me. I was supposed to be in a
    chemistry class and here I end up by mistake in your metaphysics lecture.

    Clark's 'region' does not quite qualify as a physical interpretation because a region is not a physical object. The Clark atom
    consists of a bowling ball circled by a bead, no different in this sense than Bohr’s planetary model:

    " electron: A negatively charged subatomic particle usually found in orbits about the
      nuclei of atoms" (p. 616) [6]

    So his objections to the planetary model are overruled. However, Clark now takes his video camera and films 100 orbits of
    this bead. Next he develops this film, cuts each individual frame, and pastes them onto a board. He calls this collage an
    'orbital' and asks you not to confuse it with one of the orbits (purportedly a movie synthesized within a single frame of the
    original film) (Fig. 1).
James' Bonds:
A day at the York Chemistry Lab

    So let's spell it out for the mathematicians in order to stop the irrational nonsense propounded by the religion of Quantum
    Mechanics. Anyone using the word energy to explain any phenomenon of nature is an idiot, plain and simple! Now what
    part of idiot did you not understand? There is no such object called energy in science. You cannot transfer 'energy'
    because you cannot make a movie of what you are describing. You cannot draw a picture of 'energy'. There is therefore
    no such physical object such as an ‘energy band’ that can physically interact and form interfaces with physical objects.
    The word energy is like the other four words of the religion of Mathematical Physics (force, mass, time, and field): a joker
    in a card game. Energy is an explain-it-all word, a Ptolemaic interpretation to a physical phenomenon. A ball can interact
    with a wall, but energy cannot interact with energy or with mass or with field or with an orbital. The lamebrains who
    propose such an amusing explanation in science have to begin by drawing a picture of energy. Then, and only then can
    we conceive of the surface of one energy touching the surface of another energy. The mathematician may dismiss this
    as 'philosophy.' It is not. It is called Physics. It is as a result of bypassing the preliminaries of the scientific method that
    the idiots of Quantum Mechanics end up explaining the interaction of atoms in terms of 'energy bands.'

    In Physics, there is no run-around. It is straight forward. The first thing we do is clean our asses with the textbook of
    Mathematics. In Physics, we use the sacred books written by the brightest minds from Leibniz to Gauss and from Hilbert
    to Weyl as toilet paper. In Physics, if we verify in the lab that two ‘orbitals’ interact, we instantly reject the possibility that
    an orbital could possibly be a spirit, a bunch of orbits, a region, God, a wave, a number, a wave function, a state vector,
    energy, a point particle, or all of the above. If we verify and are absolutely certain that two 'orbitals' physically interact,
    we instantly conclude without even doubting that we have before us an invisible physical object.

    Of course, religionists and mathematical physicists will band together and tell me that there is no difference between my
    invisible physical object and a ghost or a spirit.

    There is a trifling difference that I wish them to consider. A ghost has one-way touch: you touch the apparition with your
    sight, but you can’t touch her with your hands. Your dead granny moves curtains and lamps within your room at will
    and you can't stop her. The orbital obviously works in reverse. You touch it with your hand, but not with your sight.
    (I guess this is the way 'the Boss' wanted it.) An 'orbital' clearly interacts with another 'orbital' to form a physical bond
    (i.e., a molecule). All the matter in the Universe is constructed with these orbitals. Therefore, an orbital is not energy or an
    energy band. An orbital is not a concept. It is a physical object, and people who confuse them have to begin by learning
    the scientific method. Therefore, what remains to be resolved is what this physical object known as orbital is. What is an
    orbital made of if not of electron bead 'orbits', energy, or fields?


    Last modified 10/08/08

        Copyright © by Nila Gaede 2008
Come on guys, help us
out. Our halos formed
a covalent bond when
we collided!

    Is an orbital a region where we can find an electron?

    Not exactly! You have little imagination! The orbital is an energy band! The Clark collage somehow morphs into an unrelated,
    totally off-the-wall concept that has absolutely nothing to do with orbits or regions or even with electron beads. Clark gets rid
    of the electron altogether and henceforth does his lab chemistry with nothing but ‘energy bands’. He takes the energy band (a
    concept) of one H-atom and somehow binds it with another energy band (another concept) to create a covalent bond (a physical
    interaction that keeps two atoms together). The movie of an electron itinerary now interacts with the movie of another electron
    itinerary. Think of binding a woman’s love with a man’s love. You end up with covalent matrimony. The guy is ‘physically’ bound
    in perpetuum by his ‘vows’. Clark calls this ‘science’ or ‘chemistry’ or whatever he teaches at York. He has the gall to exclaim
    self-assuredly: ‘Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!’ to a picture of Bohr's ludicrous atom when his proposal is essentially no
    different than his mentor's (Fig. 2).

Fig. 1   Quantum poppycock
The Quantum atom consists of an electron
bead and a proton bowling ball. That’s
what we should see in the photograph
before we move anything. According to
QM, the electron bead orbits the proton
bowling ball. This movie consists of many
frames. Many orbits of the electron bead
comprise one ‘orbital.’ Therefore, the
orbital movie consists of many more
frames than just a single orbit. The
mechanics now take the orbital movie of
one atom and make it interact with the
orbital movie of another. This is how they
explain atomic bonding. This is like saying
that the contrails of two jets tangle and
change the direction of the jets!
J. Clark, Atomic orbitals (2004) and Orbits and orbitals (2006), Chemguide.  

Fig. 2   A Scientific comparison:

The idiotic Bohr atom vs the idiotic Clark atom
Bohr had his electron orbiting a nucleus.
They called it an orbital in those early
days of Quantum. Clark's cloud model
has the electron orbiting the nucleus
many times. He calls this movie an
orbital. The H2 molecule no longer
consists of two interlinking rings.
Now it consists of two merged regions,
energy levels, fields, or whatever.
The problem is that 'region' and 'energy level' are not physical objects. They lack the one thing
that would allow these terms to be used in Physics:
shape.  A region and an energy level are
concepts. We cannot move, interlock, or blend concepts in science. If an 'orbital' of one atom
binds with the 'orbital' of another, you can be absolutely sure that an orbital is a physical
object (i.e., it has shape). Hence, an orbital cannot be a 'region' and it cannot be 'energy'
(whatever that is). We just have to figure out now what an orbital is and is made of.