making an object move randomly across a surface?

the other day i was watching an animation of an atom, and i noticed that the electrons in the model moved along a circular orbit. Modern atomic theory says that they are actually located in ‘clouds of probability’ (whatever that means), and if you wanted to replicate that effect visually, you would imagine them moving around the nucleus with no pattern which they follow.

anyhow, to the point: this led me to wonder if you could make an object the child of another, and have blender animate it so that it moved constantly, but in a random fashion across the surface of its parent. :eek:

I have seen illustrations where the “cloud of probability” was shown as an actual cloud, denser where the probability was higher, less dense where the probability was lower. The diagrams were designed to show how the cloud of probability created bumps and hollows that corresponded to classical atom model electron shells with spaces either filled with electrons or available to form covalent bonds by sharing electrons with other atoms.

while that is a good idea, my confusion was less directed at making an actual atomic model and more at whether or not it was possible :spin:

however, if anybody wants to know, you could merely place the object center of each electron at the center of the atom and then insert rotation keys in the IPO editor. then you could edit the curves randomly, which is almost as good :slight_smile: