Erwin Schrödinger built upon the thoughts of Bohr yet took them in a new direction. He developed the probability function for the Hydrogen atom (and a few others). The probability function basically describes a cloud-like region where the electron is likely to be found. It can not say with any certainty, where the electron actually is at any point in time, yet can describe where it ought to be. Clarity through fuzziness, is one way to describe the idea. The model based on this probability equation can best be described as the cloud model.

The cloud model represents a sort of history of where the electron has probably been and where it is likely to be going. The red dot in the middle represents the nucleus while the red dot around the outside represents an instance of the electron. Imagine, as the electron moves it leaves a trace of where it was. This collection of traces quickly begins to resemble a cloud. The probable locations of the electron predicted by Schrödinger's equation happen to coincide with the locations specified in Bohr's model.

©1999 Science Joy Wagon