Microcosmology: Atom In Jain Philosophy & Modern Science ► 05 ► [5.14] Atomic Theory And Paramanuvada - Jumping Without Passing Through Space - Aphusamana Gati

Posted: 16.04.2008

We have seen that quantum physics has discarded the planetary model of the atom in which negatively charged electrons revolved round the positively charged nucleus. It has been estab­lished that electrons settle in orbits in such a way that there is an optimal balance between the attraction of nucleus and the reluctants of the electron to be confined.

The atomic orbits, however, are very different from those of the planets in the solar system, the difference arising from the wave-nature of the electrons. Also whenever an atom absorbs energy, its electrons jump to one of the outer orbits and later return to the inner orbits by emitting the energy absorbed earlier. Since the electrons are never found anywhere between the orbits, they appear to keep jumping from one orbit into another, without passing through the intervening space.

"Without passing through the intervening space" means that electrons, changing the orbit, cannot occupy any space between the two orbits even while going from one orbit to another.
This is explained by the quantum mechanics with reference to 'position-momentum' of the subatomic particles. This explana­tion involves the Uncertainly Principle or the discrete solutions of the quantum mechanics wave-equations. The latter is more dif­ficult to understand than the former.

This sort of motion is also described in the Jain Physics by the term ‘aphusamana gati1, which means motion from one area of space to another without passing through the intervening space.


  1. Pann. Sut 16/38, 40; 36/92, (JVB. Edition).
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