The Cubic Atomic Model

You are vistor Since 5/15/13

I have discovered an elegant and simple way to describe what may be the actual mechanical structure of atoms. This is radical departure from the typical atomic model which says that the atom consists of a tiny positively charged nucleus which is surrounded by a cloud of electrons. . But does this really make any sense? How is it that the strong force manages to keep all those protons in the center, but only works at a short distance. How is it all of those electrons flying around don't collide into each other and form these crazy orbits that look like balloon animals tied together. Why don't electrons radiate when they are in orbit and why is there a Pauli Exclusion principle? If all those electrons are on the outside of an atom and far from the nucleus, wouldn't they just repel any other atoms? For large atoms like uranium, wouldn't all those electrons flying about the nucleus just look crazy?



One day back in 2003, I was pondering this question while I was in my garden. I was familiar with all of the current atomic theory, but none of it seemed to make any sense in a mechanical way. How do those electrons manage to stay in their multitude of shells and orbits? It didn't seem possible, so I just picked up 2 rocks and asked myself, if one rock was a proton and the other rock was an electron, what would they do?


Naturally, the only thing they could do since they were attracted to one another was to just "stick" together like 2 magnets. The electron would just "sit" on the proton and it would not "orbit" the proton in any fashion. It wouldn't need to move around at all. The electron could just sit on the proton in a static unmoving arrangement. This forms the basic "hydrogen" ateom. That was my "Ah Ha!" moment like when Newton got hit on the head by an apple.


So the electron doesn't have to "orbit" the nucleus at all in the case of hydrogen. But how does this work with larger atoms? Well, I picked up 2 more rocks and said to myself, if these were 2 more protons and electrons, what would they do when they met the hydrogen atom. The opposite charges would simply attract and they would form a checkboard like structure which would look like this with the red cubes representing the protons and the black cubes representing the electrons:


So now we have helium and it too doesn't have any electrons flying about the nucleus. I began to see that the "nucleus" doesn't contain just the protons. It contains the electrons as well in a balanced checkboard pattern. Because the nucleus doesn't contain just protons, I can get rid of the need for a "strong" force that is supposed to hold those protons together in a tiny speck in the atom nucleus. The atom can be held together by nothing more than the balanced electrostatic forces between charged particles. This solves one of the great physical mysteries of how the strong force is very strong, but only acts at tiny distances because at larger distances, it has no effect at all. The answer is, that the strong force doesn't exist because the atom is held together by only the electrostatic force. Furthermore, the "nucleus" isn't a tiny speck in the middle of the atom. The so called "nucleus" is huge and takes up the entire measured atomic diameter. So for the picture I have above, the atomic diameter is measured from corner to corner.


After putting together 4 rocks, I immediately went into my house and started building ever larger atoms out of my kids Lego Duplo building blocks.



This concept of just attaching blocks together to form atoms is so easy, a child could grasp it. After all, it was first modeled on a children's toy. It is said that the truth of a theory can be measured by whether a bright child or a barmaid could understand it. I think you will find that the cubic atomic model passes this test. This model has evolved from using Legos, to using colored sugar cubes, to finally using velcro covered alphabet blocks. I call this the "cubic" atomic model because it is fundamentally built out of six sided cubes.


The cubic atomic theory asserts that atoms are constructed according to some simple principles. These should be considered as guidlines and not hard and fast rules. These principles of construction are:

1.) A protons and electrons must be arranged in a matrix such that similar particles never touch one another. This is similar to the cubic NaCl salt structure.

2.) The smallest unit that can be added to build an atom is a combination of 1 electron, 1  proton and 1 neutron (which is made up of bound proton and electron) . The proton and neutron are tighly bound, but the electron can be easily removed.

3.) The atom must be constructed to take a minimum of space and be as symmetric as possible.

4.) The atom consists of a vertical core surrounded by four arms arranged like the 4 sides of a cube.

5.) All available space must be taken up on the arms before anything can be added to the vertical core.


6.) Isotopes of an atom are formed by placing additional neutrons between the arms.


Now that you have some basic background on the cubic atomic model, please watch this short 6 minute video showing how atoms from hydrogen to neon are put together:


If you are curious how the larger atoms up to radium are put together, watch this video which constructs the rest of the noble elements.

This atomic model is very easy to understand and model, but it is so radically different from conventional atomic theory, that it would basically throw out about 100 years worth of physics and chemistry. This is what you would call a "paradigm shift" where the basic assumptions of science are overturned - much like when science moved away from an Earth centered universe. So if conventional science is wrong, where did we make the wrong turn?

You have to go all the way back to 1904 when the famous Rutherford or Geiger–Marsden experiment was performed:

This was the definitive experiment which proved beyond a doubt that the nucleus consisted of a tiny positively charged speck in the middle of the atom. Ever since this experiment was done, we were stuck with the concept of a "planetary" model of the atom where the atom consists of a tiny positively charged nucleus surrounded by a cloud of electrons. So how did they prove this so definitively? Did they have a super powerful microscope that could resolve the picture of the atom which showed how electrons orbited around the tiny nucleus?

Nope, all they did was shoot a gold foil with a beam of particles and watched how they bounced back from the foil.

Now how much can you really tell about subatomic structure by firing particles at gold foil? Seems like a pretty blunt instrument for making such precision measurments.

The way this works is like firing bullets at in a dark room and if you measure the bullets that come flying back, you can tell something about what is in the dark room by how the bullets come back. If you fire bullets and little or nothing comes back, then whatever is in the room must be small. On the otherhand if lots of bullets come flying back, then the object must be large. So you can tell something about an object by firing bullets at it. This is a bit of an oversimplification, but this is basically how the Rutherford experiment worked.

When the Rutherford experiment was performed, it was presumed that the bullets would easily sail through the foil based on the theory of the day - often referred to as the "plum pudding" model. However, they found that some particles came bouncing right back at them as if there was something "hard" that they were bouncing off of. Rutherford started to think about how it was possible that this tiny positively charged particle (alpha particle) could be bounced back by a gold atom. He then made the "assumption" that if he took all the positive charge of the gold atom and concentrated it in a tiny speck, that it would have enough repelling force to reflect the positively charged alpha particle. He came up with an impressive looking formula.


When graduate students Geiger–Marsden performed the experiment, it was found to match this formula with remarkable accuracy:



Here is the original paper reporting this data so you can go see yourself how this was reported:

If you look at data tables, you see very little in the way of modern data analysis.

There is only a single value given for each angle, there are no error bars or any other modern indication of the degree of experimental error in the experiment. This experiment was done by someone staring at a dark screen looking for little flashes of light for hours on end. You can imagine this was a very difficult thing to do. They also had to deal with the source of the alpha particles was decaying and so they had to compensate for the reduced output over time. They also had to correct for flashes they got even when there was no foil present.

Now given how difficult this experiment was to do in 1913, what would you think if some grad students did an experiment and it "exactly" matched the predictions of the formula? Wouldn't you think those students "cooked" the numbers so it came out right? Look at that graph - the points lie right on the theoretical predictions. For a crude experiment where you are manually counting little flashes of light, I'd say that was pretty unlikely. Read the link to the paper and see for yourself just how difficult it was to perform this experiment.

I also performed an independent analysis of the data and found that the graph provided in the hyperphysics web site doesn't even match up with the data points from the original paper. You can see that the original paper has a data point at 75 degrees, but the graph is completely missing that point. So even the reporting of the results from the Rutherford experiment is not accurate. The true graph of the data looks like this:

The calculations used in the original paper also have strange inaccuracies in the calculations. Column 6 from the original data is calculating a number based on the number of flashes observed divided by sin(angle)^4. I think this is supposed to show some ratio as staying constant, although it doesn't appear to stay constant varying from 27.5 to 39.6. The strange thing is if I calculate the same values on Excel, I get significantly different values than are reported in the paper. For example, for 135 degrees, the paper reports in the 6th column a value of 31.2. But the value I get when I calculate the same value is 31.327. That value doesn't round to 31.2, it should be 31.3. This is a simple mathematical error - how was this not noticed?

Another aspect of the graph is that it is plotted on a log scale - which can hide a host of evils. This means that as the scale goes up, the divisions get smaller. This is necessary when plotting data like this, but if you look at the difference in terms of absolute numbers and the percent difference between them, you start to see that this isn't as close as it looks. This paper never showed what the predicted values for the counts would be for the Rutherford formula. They never actually plotted the data against the theoretical values. They just provided the vague ratio reported in columns 4 and 6.  For example, when you calculate the predicted number of scintillations for 37.5 degrees, you get a predicted value of 2700 versus the observed value of 3300. That value is off by 22% but you can't see that in the log graph. You only see it as a very tiny deviation from the Rutherford formula.

I used to have a link to an MIT physics labs which replicated the Rutherford experiment. The funny thing is that the result only partially matched the formula - in fact it only matched over a farily small range in the middle. This is explained away as being the results of things like multiple scattering and the finite width of the detector etc. etc. etc. I would think that Rutherford would have had to deal with those same problems and the modern equipment available to physics labs today is far, far better than what they had in 1913. Electronic counters allow a far more accurate reporting and somebody watching for flashes of light on a screen. I would challenge the scientific community to replicate the exact setup used in the experiment in 1913, except replace the person watching for flashes with modern electronic counter detectors. I would be willing to bet, you would not get the same results as the 1913 result since this experiment should also be vunlnerable to multiple scattering errors and therefore should not exactly match the formula. This would show the experiment to be a fraud. We have based our entire atomic model on a fraud by some grad students. 

This experiment would have also been extremely difficult if not impossible for others to replicate based on the amount of radium that it required. That was a very rare commodity and it would like trying to get 60 pounds of plutonium to do your experiment with. So I doubt there were any independent attempts at replicating this experiment and I have not found any replications in the literature, nor have I found any modern day replications besides college physics labs which report results that don't match.

The other problem with this experiment is that even if the results were not fraudulent, this would still not conclusively prove that the nucleus is a tiny speck in the middle of the atom. The problem is that the Rutherford formula calculates the "scattering cross section". What this basically means that if you are randomly firing your bullets into a dark room and you see 10 bullets come back out of 100, you can say that roughly 10% of the target area is covered with something solid. If you are shooting at a box roughly 3 feet by 3 feet, then you might conclude that your target is a solid square about 1 square feet or about 10% of the target area. This is what is known as the "scattering cross section" - it is the solid area that will return back the same number of bullets as was observed in the experiment.

The big problem with this is that the target doesn't have to be a 1 sq ft solid. It could be something that looks like a chain link fence and it too would cover 10% of the area and reflect back the same number of bullets as the solid target. This type of experiment cannot tell the difference between the two situations.So while the scattering cross section is consistent with a solid block target, it doesn't prove that the target is this 1 sq ft solid. So the Rutherford experiment doesn't prove that the nucleus is a tiny positively speck at all. It is consistent with the nucleus being a speck, but it doesn't prove it.

I have done very detailed calculations showing that you can get the same basic result as the Rutherford experiment if you assume you are shooting bullets at the cubic atomic model and you presume that the particles are hard little balls and will reflect off the atom if it hits a sufficiently "thick" part of the atom. So if the particle hits the thickest part of the core of the atom, it will bounce off, but if hits one of the thin arms, it will go right through. If you would like to check the details of this calculation, click on the link below for an explanation and a discussion.

Click here for google groups discussion about the rutherford experiment

To show that the Rutherford experiment is faulty, I would challenge the scientific community to redo the experiment. However, instead of using normal gold foil, use a specially deposited gold crystal where you can verify that all of the atoms are lined up in exactly the same way. Then redo the experiment but change the angle at which the beam hits the foil. If my cubic atom model is correct, then you will see wildly different results depending on the orientation of the atom. This would be due to the particles consistently hitting different parts of the atom. If Rutherford is correct, there should be no difference depending on the angle of the atom as it is just a tiny speck and it wouldn't matter which way it is facing.

The important thing in disproving the Rutherford atom is the assumption that particles are like "hard little balls" and if one of them runs into another, they will reflect without the use of any "repelling force". They reflect simply because 2 particles cannot occupy the same piece of space. I think this is a perfectly reasonable and intuitive assumption. The laws of physics should work at all scales. If we see billiard balls on a table colliding and reflecting off
each other, then we should be able to shrink those billiard balls to the size of a proton and have it act in exactly the same way.

Rutherford and most of conventional science asuume a particle is this mathematical point with no hard surface at all and the only way things can interact is through field forces. This mathematical point makes the incorrect assumption that space and time are infinitely divisible. This leads to completely absurd calculations that result in infinities and has little to do with the real world. 

Read "The one wrong assumption that underlies all quantum physics"

How do you explain a set of static point charges as being stable

Conventional science can't even imagine that a proton might sit on top of an electron because they think that the proton and electron would just continually fall into each other since there isn't anything to stop the collapse and some catastrophe would ensue if it were allowed to do so.

Earnshaw's theorem is often cited as meaning that even if some catastrophe did not happen in the collision of a proton and an electron, that they would never be able to form a stable and static atom. So because of Earnshaw's theorem, we naively toss out any possibility of a static arrangement of charges. This is clearly throwing the baby out with the bathwater and Earnshaw's theorem has been extended well beyond it's area of applicability.

If you look a the "proof" used in this theorem, it doesn't seem to imply at all that a set of charges cannot be static. The proof just simply states that if you have a point charge sitting in space, the only way it is not going to move from that spot is if all the lines of force around it is pointing towards it. There is no distribution of charges that you can make where this will be true. If you put any two charges together, it will cause the charge to move.

This seems pretty obvious that a single charge is not going to stay in exactly the same place if you put another charge next to it. Of course, it is going to move. Opposite charges attract and similar repel. But how do you go from that conclusion, to the conclusion that any set of point charges cannot create a stable arrangement?

If you make the intuitive assumption that charges are not mathematical points that can fall into each other infinitely like Zeno's paradox, then you have to assume that at some point, the opposite charges will come to rest with respect to one another, just like two magnetic marbles might come to rest against each other. Earnshaw's theorem does not apply because at some finite distance, the inverse square laws break down.

To demonstrate this, I have created a video which shows a physics simulation called particle world in which I simulate what would happen to a proton and an electron if they were modeled as real particles.

This video clearly shows that a proton and electron will form a very stable dipole arrangement and that Earnshaw's theorem does not apply. Earnshaw's theorem only applies if inverse square force law works down to even the smallest dimensions. One can trivially see that this could not be because the force would increase to infinity as the distance becomes infinitely small. Whenever you see these "infinities" in physics, it should be a sign that you have made an incorrect assumption about the "divisibility" of something, whether it be time or space or energy.

What force keeps the proton and electron apart?

If Earnshaw's theorem does not apply, then the inverse square force between the proton and electron must breakdown and stop the proton and electron from getting any closer than some fixed distance. But why would the electrostatic force break down under tiny distances?

To understand, this, you would need to understand how the electrostatic force is generated in the first place and fundamentally - what is charge? Read the article to learn how the electrostatic force is created:

Read "How does the electrostatic force work"

Once you understand that the electrostatic force is generated by just the interaction of waves that either add or cancel, then you can begin to see that this force can only act across distances which must be greater than the wavelength.

The way to understand this is that an electron or positron is like a sphere which pulses and gets larger and smaller. It is the shrinking and growing sphere that pushes particles in waves. This sphere will have a measurable greatest diameter (Dbig) and smallest diameter (Dsmall). The difference in diameter will determine the wavelength that is created by the pulsing sphere.

When there are large distances between positrons and electrons, we can see that the waves either add or subtract in the medium between them. But what would happen if we reduced the distance to between the particles to be equal to the sum of the distance of the smallest and largest sphere diameters? This would happen if we took a positron and electron and spaced them in an area which is Dbig + Dsmall in length.

In this case, there is no more space for there to be a "medium", there is nothing (not even an aether) between the two particles. Since the positron and electron are out of phase, the positron grows and the electron shrinks and then vice-versa as the electron grows, the positron shrinks.

The result is that the positron/electron pair do not change in dimension as they pulse. They keep the same Dbig+Dsmall dimension. Since they are not getting larger or smaller, it doesn't create waves outside of the particles, so therefore, do not create regions of higher pressure that would push the particles inwards. There is no medium to compress between the positron/electron pair, so there is no outward pressure either.

The net effect is that there is zero force between the electron/positron pair. There is no repelling force keeping them apart, there is simply no force at all. However, as soon as the particles drift apart, aether particles fill the spaces between them and the normal inverse square laws take over and they are brought together again when there is again zero force between them.

So the answer to the question of "what force keeps the proton and electron apart?" is that there is no new force keeping them apart, just that the normal electrostatic force drops to zero below the wavelength of the pulsing positron/electron. The case of a proton is a bit more complicated since a proton is a composite particle.

The proton is currently thought of consiting of 3 fractionally charged quarks. No one in any experiment has ever found a fractionally charged 1/3 or 2/3 particle. It hasn't been for lack of trying either - every experiment has failed miseribly to find what should be pretty obvious fractionally charged particles.

The real answer is that a proton is made out of three particles, but those particles are the more familiar 2 positrons and 1 electron. These are locked together like the positron/electron pair. This better explains the phenomenon of Asymptotic freedom:

This describes the strange phenomenon that the particles within the proton act as if they were very weakly bound - like a bag of loose marbles. This is easily explained by the wave explanation of electrostatic forces. As long as the 2 protons and electrons are close to one another, one would expect the force between them to be nearly zero. Since the trio have an excess proton, the wave action from this proton is not cancelled and it produces a wave similar to that of a single positron. The proton and electron then interact in a similar manner as a positron/electron pair.

On the other hand, standard physics is left to explain a :"strong" force which is weak at small distances, super strong at atomic nucleus distances and then non-existent at distances greater than nucleus distances. To think that such a force could exist seems beyond what is reasonable.

J.J. Thompson in The Electron in Chemistry (1923) proposed a similar modified inverse square formula to escape Earnshaw's theorem.

(source :

In this forumula, when radius r approaches some small finite distance "c", couloumb's force drops to zero. He did not provide an explanation for why this would be, but the wave interaction model of electrostatics provides the answer.

How do you explain "spectra" without electron orbitals?

Now that we know something about why we might be mistaken about why the nucleus should be small, the next question is why we think the electrons are arranged in shells outside of the nucleus. The cubic atomic model completely gets rid of electrons are are outside of the nucleus, so how does it handle the lack of "electron orbitals"? To answer this, we have to go back to the same 1913 time period when Niels Bohr is trying to figure out emission spectra. If you take a tube of hydrogen gas and run a bolt of electricity through it, it will glow, but when you put the light through a prism, you will see that only very narrow bands of color are produced.

So why are only these narrow bands produced? Bohr thought that if the electrons orbited around the nucleus in well defined orbits, that the action of the electron falling from one orbit to another would cause the release of a specific wavelength of light. The orbits are not evenly spaced. As you go further out, the orbits become much further away as seen in this picture:

The spectra for hydrogen could be accurately computed using the Rydberg formula:

In this formula n1 and n2 represent the orbitals where the electron jumps to.

The problem with this is that Bohr couldn't justify why the electrons should stay in only these orbits and he didn't know why the spectra formula had the form that it did. The other problem was that if the electron were in orbit around the nucleus, it should give off energy and then spiral down into the nucleus. None of these questions have adequate answers, even today.

So if the cubic atomic model doesn't have electron orbitals, how does it explain spectra? The answer has to do with the very nature of "space" itself. We know from experiment that if we zap empty space with enough high energy gamma rays, we will see a positron and electron sprout from nowhere. This is called "pair production" So where did the positron/electron come from? I don't think they just materialized in some kind of conversion of energy to matter. How can energy which is just "movement" turn into something ponderable like "matter"? Instead, what I think is happening is that there was a pre-existing neutrally charged particle (I call this a poselectron) existing in so called "empty space". When the gamma ray hit, it split apart that particle into its constituent positron and electron. This poselectron is exactly the same particle that has been previously described as the result of a positron and electron coming close enough together that the net force between them is zero.

These poselectron particles are everywhere - they in fact completely fill up space and is jam packed with these particles. This is what makes up what is referred to as the "aether". It is a sea of poselectron particles that are like sand at the beach, completely filling up space. So space is made up of particles and since 2 particles cannot occupy the same space at the same time, this limits the movement of other particles trying to make their way through the aether. So an electron moving through space cannot just smoothly move from location to location any way it wants. It has to shove a poselectron out of the way and take it's place. It has to move in a jerky/jumpy like fashion where it can only move the diameter of a poselectron at a time. It is like a piece of graph paper, where you can only draw the electron to be inside of one of the boxes. Here is the new model of how the electron moving around the atom should be seen.

Now what happens if we put an electron next to proton. This is a hydrogen atom. The electron is at state n=0 and is right next to the proton. The electron cannot get any closer since it is a "hard little ball". If we zap it with some electricity, we will get the electron to fly off the proton. But it cannot just smoothly fly away from the proton, it can only take poselectron sized steps away from the proton. Each step away from the proton decreases the electrostatic force as described by Couloumb's law.


The force is proportional to the potential energy and we can see the r^2 term in the bottom is the same as the n^2 terms of the Rydberg formula where r is simply the integer sized step that the electron takes as it gets away from the proton. So we can trivally see that the Rydberg formula is trivially expressing the difference in potential energy between each step the electron can take based on the coulomb force. So the electron is not in this ever wider expanding ring of orbits. The Bohr model has each orbit getting further and further apart as seen in the above diagram. Instead it just takes evenly sized steps away from the proton as it gets away from the proton. In the above diagram, it shows the electron transitioning from a distance of n=3 to a distance of n=2 and the light wave that is emitted is simply the difference in the force calculated by Coulom's law. I have explained this in more detail in the article:

Read the article "Predicting the spectra of hydrogen"

Using this same logic, we can do something that conventional theory cannot, which is to calculate the spectra of helium and lithium.

Read the article "Calculating the spectra of helium"

So now we know how the cubic atomic model generates spectra in a way that doesn't require that electrons be "in the air" in fixed orbits around the nucleus. When an atom is in the lowest energy state, all the electrons just fall right back into the atom and take their place. They don't orbit, so it solves the problem of why they don't radiate. They don't have to remain at fixed distances away from the nucleus, so we solved the problem of why electrons can only exist at particular orbits - they aren't orbiting, they are merely bouncing around the atom like a bouncy ball which can only jump fixed distances when energy is applied. This concept of space only allowing "quantum" movement has been shown to experimentally exist when dropping neutrons. They found that the dropped neutrons wouldn't bounce in just any location after are released, they only bounced to only certain narrowly defined heigts indicating that the space they were falling through was particulate.

Read about dropping neutrons in a gravity field

Why do we believe there are different categories of electron shells like s, p, d, f?

There is experimental evidence based on the amount of energy it takes to remove an electron from an atom (ionization). As you remove more and more electrons from an atom, it takes more energy to remove them. If you look at a chart of the ionization energy, you will begin to see a pattern.


You can easily see a pattern of 8 electrons grouped together, then another group of 8 and finally a group of 2. These correspond to the major electron "shells". These groups of 8 are further divided (due to a small break in the energy) into a group of 2 and 6. This is graphically shown in this diagram.

The Argon atom uses 3 "shells" but it only uses 2 categories of orbitals called "s" which can hold 2 electrons and "p" which can hold six.

So, how does the cubic atom model explain this? We first have to remember that we don't have to explain the existence of "shells" as conventional science would have you believe. What we need to explain is just the experimental evidence of the ionization chart. So lets look at the shape of the argon atom in the cubic atomic model.

The parts added to create the Argon atom from the Neon atom are coded as dark blue. The Neon atom is coded as blue. You can see that the parts which are dark blue are the furthest away from the center of the atom and you would naturally think that if you are going to knock something off of this, that it would be these outstretched arms that would lose electrons first. In this picture each brick which is a 2 x 2 x 1 stud square brick represents a duterion which contains 1 electron.

When electrons are being ionized, the electrons first come out dark blue blocks and this forms the first group of 8 electrons ionized. The first six ionize with the same energy which I would think are the ones shown the the right and left, plus the outermost top and bottom block. This give your "p" group. Then the remaining 2 block forming the vertical core ionize with a slightly greater energy. This gives your "s" group. Then you ionzie the Neon atom and another group of 8 comes off of the outside and then finally, the last 2 electrons are ionized from the central core.

So we can see that the ionziation energy can be explained as being a geometrical property of the atom. There are no "shells", but there are positions within the atom which have approximately the same "energy" position relative to the center of the atom and these ionize off with roughly the same energy. This is an area of ongoing research for the cubic atomic model. The model has changed many times to try to more closely explain the fine differences in energy that is seen in the ionization data and it could be the model of Argon I have shown above could be further modified to better account for the data. However, the basic principle remains sound to explain why there are different ionization levels.

The cubic atomic model is stable and can predict ionization energies.

If the atom is held together by nothing more than the electrostatic force, then we can also do simple calculations to determine if the cubic model is stable and you can begin to calculate the ionization energies.

To determine if a group of alternating protons and electrons could be stable, I made a calculation to determine the nature of the forces that would be involved in such a structure. By using nothing more than Columbs law and geometry, I determined whether the protons/electrons would fly apart or stick together. A single proton and electron would obviously stick together and be stable since the are oppositely charged. I then calculated the forces in a square of 2 protons and 2 electrons. All forces indicated that there was a net inward force to keep it stable. Next I calculated the stability of a cube of 4 protons and 4 electrons. This too showed a net force pointing toward the center of the cube that would keep this structure stable. I also calcualated what would happen if you added another square of 2 protons and 2 electrons, and this also was stable. Based on my calculations, I would say that the cubic model represents a stable configuration and would not immediately break up. The details of this calculation can be found at the newsgroup posting:

Another interesting result of the stability calculation is that it appears to correctly predict the relative first ionization energies for Hydrogen and Helium. If we calculate the net force on an element of a hydrogen atom (just a proton/electron pair at 187pm, we get 3.314 X 10^-9. If we do a similar calculation using the x,y,z forces for an element of the cube helium, we come up with 5.504 X 10^-9. This compares with the first ionization energy of hydrogen at 1312 kJ mol and 2372 kJ mol for helium (from The ratio for the predicted difference in force is (5.504/3.314) = 1.66. The actual ratio is (2372/1312) =1.80 which agrees to within 9%. Note that this calculation is only determinining the relative difference in ionization energy. It does not predict the actual ionization energy. This is assuming that the ionization energy is related to how tightly bound the electron is to the rest of the atom. So the more tightly an electron is bound (with greater force as shown in the calculation), it should have a higher ionization energy which I have presumed as being proportional to the force. (A lot of assumptions, not necessarily true.) This doesn't extend to lithium which would have a force of either 7.696 x 10-9 for an outside component or 2.974 x 10-9 for an inside component. The first ionization energy for lithium is only 520 kJ mol. The ratios are (3.313/2.974) = .83 and (1312/520)=2.52 which do not agree at all. Since this is a completely asymmetric atom, there may be other factors which make an accurate calculation difficult. However, in principle these kind of calculations can be made. It is an area of future research to determine what factors are needed to perform an accurate calculation of the ionization energies.

Where do the neutrons fit into the atom?

So far we have only considered atoms which have the same number of neutrons as protons. But what about atoms which have more neutrons than protons? How do these fit into the model?

It appears that additional neutrons can attach to the central core between the "arms" of the atom. Since these fit beteen the arms, they do not interfere or affect the atomic bonding sites found at the ends of the arms. For Argon which is shown above, 2 neutrons can fit between each arm. A total of 8 neutrons can be attached to Argon and this corresponds to the largest observed isotope of Argon which is Argon 44 (44-36 = 8). This type of analysis holds up to Krypton but after that, it is less clear what the rules for placing the neutrons should be and this is an area of active research. This is another area where the shape of the larger atoms may need to be changed in order to account for the neutron data.

How does chemical bonding work if there are no electron orbitals?

In conventional atomic theory, the electrons are supposed to be able to form bonds by sharing electrons between atoms. But it isn't at all clear how this "sharing" causes the center of the positively charged nucleus to be strongly attracted to one another. If the planetary model of the atom is correct, they why wouldn't these electrons just repel each other and therefore, no atomic bonding should be possible. 

The cubic atom model solves this problem by postulating that atoms are actually composed of helium atoms glued together. This would be a cube consisting of 2 protons, 2 neutrons and 2 electrons. Any part of the atom which isn't part of a helium atom is chemically active. 

I have shown the element "lithium". You can see it consists of a helium atom at the bottom and a deuterium atom at the top of the stack. This deuterium atom wants to attract another set of charges so that it can get to the helium configuration. This checkerboard pattern of alternating positive and negative charges forms a "docking port" which can then attract another atom. I don't believe that the atoms actually physically touch when they are chemically bonded, but they are merely attracted and keep some distance away from each other while they vibrate from all of the thermal energy that is surrounding them. They would act more like balls attached by springs than by a solid physical connection. This view is confirmed by our study of atomic resonances which shows that there is indeed a resonance frequency that atoms vibrate at.

The shape of molecules is determined by just the physical layout of the atom itself. It does not rely on "orbitals" to somehow determine where atoms join together. I have shown the element "boron" and it is a helium atom surrounded by deuterium atoms on 3 sides. Consequently, it forms molecules with 3 atoms in a generally triagonal planar pattern. You might think the cubic atom model would predict a T shaped molecule with 90 degree angles instead of the observed 120 degree angles. But if you look how the attached atoms would be oriented, you would see that they would be directly repelling each other to be as far apart as possible and these atoms are acting as if they were on springs, so they may distribute themselves into an even 120 degree separation. Although, I would predict if you did a very careful experiment to measure each of the bond angles separately, that one of the bonds would generally exceed 120 degrees and this would be the evidence for the T shaped atom.

Bonding generally can only occur on the outer vertices of the atom and for a larger atom, the atom extends out into space from the six sides of a cube. This is why we generally see atoms only form molecular bonds with only six atoms in a octrahedral arrangement.

Each of the atoms, particularly those below Neon, form a specific set of docking ports and these correspond to what you might find in a standard ball and stick chemistry model. So carbon would have 4 bonding sites and oxygen would have 2 at 90 degree angles. Complex molecules can be seen to join together in the same way as these ball and stick models. Very complex molecular structures can be explained. I have described the formation of iron oxide which is a very complex combination of iron and oxygen molecules.

Click here to view how iron oxide is modeled

The cubic atom model explains carbon bonding without resorting to ad hoc hybridization

One element that is particularly interesting is carbon which forms the basis of many organic molecules. It looks like this:

Carbon form bonds with the docking ports created on the top and bottom and on the 2 parts shown sticking out to the left. This easily shows why carbon forms bonds with 4 outer atoms. Conventional atomic theory has a problem with the carbon atom because it should only have 2 electrons in its outer shell. So according to standard atomic theory, carbon should only be able to form compounds with 2 other atoms. So how does carbon form bonds with 4 atoms? Conventional theory "postulates" that 2 of the electrons are "promoted" in a process called "hybridization" to create 4 equivalent orbitals. In science, this process of completely making up some process is known as an "ad hoc hypothesis" which is something arbitrarily added to a theory to prevent it from being falsified - otherwise known as "cheating". There appear to be very few rules around applying hybridization except for you just apply it where ever deemed necessary to explain the experimental data. Such ad hoc hypothesis is not required to explain the bonding of the carbon atom in the cubic atomic model.

Predicting the true non-planar shape of benzene

The cubic atom model can also be used to predict how multiple bond molecules like benzene is formed. It predicts that benzene is not a flat molecule which each hydrogen atom in the same plane as the carbon atoms. Instead, it predicts that the hydrogen atoms stick up and down in the plane of the carbon atoms and it looks something like this:

It is a little difficult to make out, but the individual carbon atoms are shaped with 2 of the docking ports on the end and the other 2 in a L shaped 90 degree arrangement. The only way the carbon atoms can join is for every other atom to be flipped over so the negative and positives match up. So there are 3 flipped up and 3 flipped down. On the atoms which are flipped up, 3 hydrogen atoms sit on the docking port. You can also see how towards the middle, all of the docking ports are pointing to the center and the positive and negative attract each other to form a stronger "double" bond. This would predict that benzene should have a "3-fold" symmetry and we should see 3 little bumps on each benzene molecule. This is actually what we see in STM pictures of benzene:


These pictures are created by a very precise Scanning Tunnelling Microscope (STM). Unlike the Rutherford experiment, this provides a very direct picture of what atoms really "look" like. This technique actually scans across the atoms and you can resolve sub-atomic structure. The cubic atomic model can explain some recent pictures of silicon atoms which look like this:


Probing the shapes of atoms in real space

Herz PRB 68 45301 2003.pdf

What we see in these pictures are things which look like Lego blocks. They have extremely well defined edges and have a well defined bump in the middle of them that is sticking up. There is a green arrow showing an atomic defect in the silicon crystal and you can see how there are sharp edges and dropoffs defining the boundaries of the atoms. This is in complete contradiction to the view that the atom has this "cloud" of electrons flying about a central nucleus. It is however, in complete agreement with the cubic atomic model where the silicon atom looks something like this:

You will notice that there is a large nub at the top and is surrounded by a base which looks like a diamond shape. This is the same shape seen in the STM pictures if you close closely.

Here is another STM picture which resolves just the tops of the atoms. The tops of the atoms appear to be square, not circular. The squareness is clearly resolved in the photo and could not correspond to a smooth wave function or cloud of electrons. Could this squareness be the same as in the Cubic model?

Explains the most common fission products of uranium

Another interesting aspect to consider about the cubic model is what it might say about nuclear fission. If you imagine breaking apart an atom which has the X shape, you would think that it would most likely break off one or more of the arms. I would predict that the most common fission products should be a combination of the core plus parts of the arms. Doing a further analysis on uranium with an atomic number of 92, my model would predict that the core would contain 14 atomic units (a square of electron,proton,neutron) in the core and the arms would contain 19-20 units in each of the arms for a total atomic number of 92. I would predict that the most common fission products should contain the core plus parts of the arms. So you would expect to see a 1/4 fraction at 14+20 = 34, 1/2 fraction at 14 + 40=54, 3/4 fraction at 14 + 60 = 74. The graph of the most common fission products looks like this:


The experimental results show the most common fission products being Br, Kr and Rb at atomic numbers 35, 36, 37. This corresponds to the left peak with an atomic weight of around 95. The right peak corresponds to  I, Xe and Cs at atomic numbers 53, 54 and 55 with an atomic weight around 137. This closely corresponds to the predicted 1/4 and 1/2 fractions predicted by the cubic atomic model I think there is a remarkable match between the prediction and the result. This is significant because you might intuitively think that an atom should split in half evenly, so that the most common result should be Palladium at atomic weight 46. But this doesn't happen. We get a lobsided result which is a little more than 1/2 or 1/4 of the atom. The cubic model precisely describes why you should get the fractions that we do see in experiments. The standard atomic model has very little to explain why we get such lopsided results during fission. If a nucleus were a featureless blob, then one would expect that the chance that any particular fission product might form would be as good as any other product. We would expect the graph to be flat. This lopsidedness is really telling us something about the structure of the atom. It is telling us that the atom has a structure which is inclined to break apart in only certain ways due to how it is constructed.

I have also created an atomic model questions and answers section based on questions asked by other people about atomic physics.

Read the Atomic Q & A

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