What is an Atom?

An atom is a combination of subatomic particles: protons, neutrons and electrons.  Protons and neutrons are found in the core, nucleus, of the atom and the electron is found far from this nucleus in what is known as an atomic orbital.  It may be helpful to picture planets orbiting the Sun, although there are many differences between electrons in orbit around an atomic nucleus and a planet in orbit around the Sun.  An electron does not follow a distinct path like a planet and its orbit has different shapes that depend on the number of protons in the atom.

The simplest atom is a single electron orbiting a single proton (hydrogen). This is the most abundant atom in the universe. Protons may bind together in a nucleus, if separated by a neutron, but to remain a stable particle, each proton must have an equivalent electron.  Various configurations of protons, neutrons and electrons can form atoms from 1 proton (hydrogen) to 118 protons (unococtium), and the combination of these atoms sharing electrons binds to become molecules that we see and experience such as water (H20).



  • Why does the electron take an orbital path around a proton, yet it annihilates with a positron with the same charge?
  • Why does the electron’s orbital have strange shapes and probabilities?
  • Why do atomic elements have the interesting periodic sequence known as the Periodic Table?




In energy wave theory, the cause of the atom, the periodic sequence of a combination of protons in the atom’s nucleus, and the reason for the electron’s orbital and its probable location and shapes are all based on the structure of the proton. The proton is indeed a composite particle that is formed of other particles, but unlike modern theories that propose the proton to consist of three quarks, it more likely contains four quarks and an antiquark, known as the pentaquark found at CERN in 2015.

Not only does the pentaquark structure explain some of the mysteries of the atom’s sequence and orbitals explained on this page, but it also explains the proton’s strange beta decay results, why the electron annihilates with the positron, and why the coupling constant for the strong force shows up in the equation for hydrogen’s orbital.  The latter are all discussed separately on their respective pages.

The pentaquark structure contains an antiquark that attracts an electron as destructive longitudinal waves. However, a secondary force repels the electron, as transverse waves along an axis between quarks, keeping the electron in an orbital and continually shifting positions.

The Atom’s Orbitals

Electrons do not orbit an atomic nucleus like the Earth orbits the Sun.  The original Bohr model of the atom was modeled similar to the gravitational pull of planets and stars, but it failed to explain and calculate the position of the electron using classical mechanics. Quantum mechanics evolved to solve this issue and other notable problems in the subatomic world that could not be explained at the time, but it evolved in a time period before the proton was known to be a composite particle (quantum mechanics was developed during the 1920s; the proton was first discovered to contain three quarks in the 1960s; the pentaquark was validated in 2015).


Orbital Position

The electron stays in an orbital and this orbital is successfully modeled as the distance where the sum of the forces on an electron is zero. The electron is essentially being pushed and pulled at the same time, as described below. This model explains why the electron stays in an orbit around a proton, yet annihilates with a positron which has an identical charge as the proton.

Forces on electron

Electron in an Atomic Orbital – Attracted and Repelled by Proton


The electron is attracted (F1) and repelled (F2) by the proton and the orbital is the position where the sum of the forces is zero. The proton’s pentaquark structure is shown below (Q1). The center positron is the attractive force. When the electron aligns with the tetrahedral vertices of the proton (bound by the strong force), it is repelled by the second wave. The details of each force are provided below.

Orbital Forces


Attractive Force

Using the pentaquark model, the electron is attracted to the nucleus of a proton, being attracted to the antiquark (or positron) that is likely at the center of the structure. The attractive force is the electric force which decreases with the inverse square of the distance.  This is modeled below as Force 1 (F1).

Attractive Force of Proton


Repelling Force

If it were only an attractive force, the electron would annihilate with an antiquark (or positron).  Fortunately, for all of living matter that is based on atoms, the electron is also repelled by the additional particles in the proton.  In the proposed pentaquark model, there are four quarks (or possibly high-energy electrons) that bind together in the vertices of a tetrahedron for three-dimensional stability.  These interactions produce the strong force at close range, within standing waves. Beyond standing waves, it is a repelling force that is an axial force modeled below as Force 2 (F2).  It  is stronger than the electric force at short distances, but it decreases with the inverse cube of distance. This creates a distance where the two forces are equal and establishes the orbit for the electron.

Repelling Force of Proton


Orbital Distances, Shapes and Leaps

This model of the proton with both an attractive and repelling force not only provides an equation to model the electron’s distance from the nucleus, but it also explains the curious shapes of the orbitals and the reason for the quantum leaps of the electron. They occur due to an alignment of protons during their spin where quarks are aligned on an axis, even if briefly during a rotation. A page is devoted to explaining each of these using the pentaquark structure of the proton.

  • Same-spin protons always aligned – cause of the electron’s quantum leaps to distinct orbitals as the electron is repelled further
  • Opposite-spin protons aligned during rotation – the cause of various orbital shapes as the electron is repelled further only at certain points in the rotation

electron repelled quantum leaps



The Atom’s Nucleus

The formation of the atomic nucleus is built similar to the formation of particles. Wave centers constantly shift to the node of a standing wave, causing particle spin or particle decay. The nucleus of an atom consists of composite particles – protons and neutrons. They are built from particles, which consist of wave centers, thus everything follows the same fundamental rule of motion – to minimize wave amplitude.

The formation of protons in the nucleus is a result of particles at standing wave nodes. When in proximity of standing waves, the node is the point of minimal amplitude. It is the strong force for binding particles together to become nucleons, and it is the nuclear force to bind nucleons in the atom’s nucleus – the same force but just a difference in separation radius. But to remain stable, they must be at multiples of wavelengths to be on the standing wave node. The three-dimensional formation that allows this structure is the tetrahedron.

The section on the atomic nucleus provides details on how protons and neutrons stack in arrangement following tetrahedral shapes for wave stability. An example is shown below for neon, calcium and zinc, which are all complete rows in a sequence of the Periodic Table of Elements. It coincides with tetrahedral symmetry.



Where is the Proof?

The calculations, derivations and explanations in this section include the following:

  • Calculations
  •  Explanations
    • The proposed tetrahedral nucleus structure that gives rise to the periodic sequence in the Periodic Table of Elements.
    • The probability cloud and orbital shapes of the s, p, d and f atomic orbitals.
    • An explanation for the quantum jump of the electron between orbitals.
    • The same pentaquark model of the proton used for orbital distances is also used to accurately calculate the strong force.
  • Derivations



Video Summary

A video summary on atoms and their structure is found below. A separate video on the orbitals can be found at the bottom of the Orbitals page.