The Fallacy of Feynman\'s and Related Arguments on the Stability of the Hydrogen Atom According to Quantum Mechanics
Recently published data showing that the Rydberg series extends to lower states in a catalytic plasma reaction [R. L. Mills, P. Ray, ?Extreme Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Helium-Hydrogen Plasma,? J. Phys. D, Applied Physics, Vol. 36, (2003), pp. 1535?1542] has implication for the theoretical basis of the stability of the hydrogen atom. The hydrogen atom is the only real problem for which the Schr?dinger equation can be solved without approximations; however, it only provides three quantum numbers? not four, and inescapable disagreements between observation and predictions arise from the later postulated Dirac equation as well as the Schr?dinger equation. Furthermore, unlike physical laws such as Maxwell\'s equations, it is always disconcerting to those that study quantum mechanics (QM) that the particle-wave equation and the intrinsic Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (HUP) must be accepted without any underlying physical basis for fundamental observables such as the stability of the hydrogen atom in the first place. In this instance, a circular argument regarding definitions for parameters in the wave equation solutions and the Rydberg series of spectral lines replaces a first-principles-based prediction of those lines. It is shown that the quantum theories of Bohr, Schr?dinger, and Dirac provide no intrinsic stability of the hydrogen atom based on physics. An old argument from Feynman based on the HUP is shown to be internally inconsistent and fatally flawed. This argument and some more recent ones further brings to light the many inconsistencies and shortcomings of QM and the intrinsic HUP that have not been reconciled from the days of their inception. The issue of stability to radiation needs to be resolved, and the solution may eliminate of some of the mysteries and intrinsic problems of QM.