|MadSci Network: Physics|
Say I am observing a hydrogenic gold atom moving at relativistic speeds away from me. What does the orbital look like? The inner electrons of gold are moving already at relativistic speeds, so those moving, relative to the nucleus in my direction are at subrelativistic speeds. Contrawise, those electrons moving relative to the nucleus away from me are closer to c. These electrons will appear heavier and so, to be consistant, closer to the nucleus. Does this result in an additional (to the length contraction of a sphere) breaking of symmetry? Is this view consistant with the bulk properties of a relativistic gold bar? We must expect some asymmetry, or else we could make muon atoms with a mere frame shift, but going from a spherically symmetric atom to one with only one rotational axis of symmetry seems a bit odd!
Re: What do (special) relativistically contracted electron orbitals look like?
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