**Friday, Nov. 7, 2008, 12 noon, ECSN 2.126 **

**A New Classical Electrostatic Approach to Ground State Energy, Capacitance and
Atomic Structure**

**Abstract**

The performance of nanoscale devices is often dictated by the behavior of a few electrons. While quantum mechanical methods provide accurate predictions, solutions of the Schrödinger equation are typically complicated, time-consuming and unintuitive. A new classical electrostatic interactions model of electrons confined to a nanoscale dielectric sphere provides fresh insight into fundamental properties of the physical world by solution of the Poisson equation using the classical Thomson model proposed in 1904. The discrete charge dielectric (DCD) model illustrates the necessity of a formation energy term involved in minimization to the ground state energy and leads to a new expression of capacitance particularly suited to few-electron systems. Additionally, spatial symmetry properties associated with the discrete nature of electrons are shown to provide a series of energy transitions that may be viewed as a fingerprint of electron orbital symmetries commonly associated with atomic structure.