How is an “instantaneous” change in orbitals by an electron reconciled with the tenet that nothing travels faster than light?
There is (I think) a non-zero distance between orbitals. To go from one orbital to another, therefore, would seem to involve traveling, or traversing, that non-zero distance, yet the duration of said travel is zero. Again, why is this not considered a violation of the prohibition of superluminal travel?
Or is it, in fact, a legitimate example of faster-than-light travel but of no consequence because no laws of causality are violated and no information exchange is made possible by exploiting the phenomenon?
Or maybe the space between orbitals is like the two ends of a worm hole (picture the cliched diagram showing how two widely separated parts of the universe are actually connected by a short, maybe even zero-length, path) with the electron taking that path.
Or, less fancifully, is it allowed since the Heisenberg uncertainty principle guarantees an increasing uncertainty in the energy of the electron for shorter and shorter time intervals (in other words, at any “instant” we’d have zero idea what the electron’s energy is and thus which orbital it occupies).