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Difficulty with the notion that we are mostly empty space.

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posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 01:53 PM
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I've heard the strange notion "atoms are mostly empty space therefor we are mostly empty space" from numerous physicists and mathematicians. Despite this knowledge, I am unable to walk through walls, which I am told are also mostly empty space.

We are prone to think of atoms as how they are mathematically modelled, that is, as little spheres in which a host of events occur. This sphere however, a model of an atomic radius and not any sort of physical balloon-like boundary, is purely conceptual and imaginary. The atomic radius from the nucleus to its outer electron orbit is a mathematical entity, not any sort of physical boundary in which space, or anything for that matter, is contained. As such, atoms do not have definitive physical boundaries, but only mathematical and conceptual ones. Orbits, radii and distance do not define any physical boundary in which anything can be contained.

I am a layman in these regards, and I am hoping someone can explain this to me. How can an atom contain 99% empty space without a boundary in which to contain it?




posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 01:55 PM
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a reply to: Words

99 percent? Much more than that. And then you have to go down to the quark level, so there is even more "empty space", and then when the inevitable division of the quark into smaller components is discovered, there is the empty space in there to consider. We are all ghosts of light, walking around like we own the place.



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 01:57 PM
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I think what they mean by empty space is the fact that proportionally, an electron is as far away from the nucleus as the Earth is from the Sun. Along those lines.

So yeah we are empty space, if this is what you were asking, I'm not certain.



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 01:57 PM
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Being mostly empty space, we cannot pass through walls unimpeded any more than a magnet can pass through another magnets field unimpeded- and largely for the same reasons.

Cheers.



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:03 PM
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I heard an analogy on Cosmos I think that if an atom was the size of a cathedral than the nucleus would be a spec of dust. Mind blown



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:04 PM
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a reply to: Yeahkeepwatchingme

This is what I'm asking:

How can an atom contain 99.9999% empty space without a boundary in which to contain it?

As an analogy, does the orbit of Neptune create a physical boundary in which the space within it is contained?



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:09 PM
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a reply to: lordcomac




Being mostly empty space, we cannot pass through walls unimpeded any more than a magnet can pass through another magnets field unimpeded- and largely for the same reasons.


So is empty space in an atom contained within an atom by a magnetic field?


edit on 24|10|14 by Words because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:09 PM
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a reply to: Words

I don't think they need physical boundaries as they're held "together" (despite the distances being large) by the orbit of the electrons around the nucleus.



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:10 PM
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a reply to: Yeahkeepwatchingme




I don't think they need physical boundaries as they're held "together" (despite the distances being large) by the orbit of the electrons around the nucleus.


I am a little confused. Is the empty space within an atom contained by an electron?
edit on 24|10|14 by Words because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:10 PM
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There is a good chance that our "physical" body is a manifestation of our mind's much like how what we see is purely interpreted by rods and cones and may not appear in reality how it does to us.

Brain in a vat. Messed up, eh?



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:11 PM
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a reply to: Words

I don't think it's contained. More like the area of the empty space is defined by the boundaries of the "orbit" of the electron.

I'm not sure if this helps you though, sorry.



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:18 PM
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a reply to: Yeahkeepwatchingme


I don't think it's contained. More like the area of the empty space is defined by the boundaries of the "orbit" of the electron.

I'm not sure if this helps you though, sorry.


This does help quite a bit, thank you. This is what I thought. But the trouble is, if this is so, the idea in pop-culture that atoms are little spheres in which empty space is contained is a mathematical and abstract notion, with little concrete reality.



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:21 PM
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Repulsion is the answer you are looking for

The charge in atoms is like trying to stick the same ends of a magnet together

The don't like it

And that same rule applies to our atoms with a significant order of magnitude applied

the electrons are negatively charged when two objects come into contact, say u and a wall, the negative charge of the walls electrons and your electrons act like the magnets , the closer u get to the wall the stronger the repulsion .'

so the real weird thing is that you never actually "touch" anything


reply to: Words


edit on pm1020143102America/ChicagoFri, 24 Oct 2014 14:27:01 -0500_10000000 by Another_Nut because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:22 PM
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Think of a large box. When closed it is mostly empty space. However you may not walk through walls with it, even though the wall itself if not insulated is also mostly empty space. It's the parts that aren't empty that are important. Having said that, if we look ever closer, are we not just energy? The space that is occupied is just energy...thus all things are energy...the same energy and yet we cannot bond with like energy? What gives? LOL This is a deep rabbit hole. We're all empty spaces, water and energy.
edit on 24-10-2014 by amazing because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:26 PM
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Wtf? You people are joking, right?
Ever heard of gravity? And the core has the biggest mass, so...
Also an electron has not really something to do with an atom, I think, the one is organic the other unorganic, or metall.
Could be wrong though. But if I remember correctly, and it's been a while, Metall forms clusters through their charge and the other has it's electrons bound by gravity and charge, with the proton in the middle. You can walk through water, organic atoms, because of the density, also air, gases, etc. because of it's surface tension, (maybe, I was very bad at all the natural sciences.)



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:28 PM
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a reply to: Words

Atoms are mostly empty space but always partially filled with unimaginably fast baryons.

Electrostatic force is over a billion times stronger than gravity/distance unit of separation. So these tiny baryon clouds exert a tremendous amount of force on each other.

That's why you can't get through a wall or fall into the Earth.

"Ghosts of light" That could be a cool name for a band.



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:30 PM
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a reply to: Peeple

no offense but you need to pick up a book my friend as that was all nonsense



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:31 PM
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a reply to: Peeple




posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: Another_Nut

Really? Why? Not saying it was spot on, but I know surface tension and density are right.



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 02:35 PM
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originally posted by: Words

This does help quite a bit, thank you. This is what I thought. But the trouble is, if this is so, the idea in pop-culture that atoms are little spheres in which empty space is contained is a mathematical and abstract notion, with little concrete reality.


You're right. But if you were to say that atoms and electrons aren't little "balls" but are actually just probability waves, energy fields and/or charged particles that have unknowable exact locations within space, which might be a more accurate way to explain them. Would that really help any either???

The fact that Matter seems to be just the collection of Electrical charges held together by forces and that as far as we can tell even those charged particles are sometimes just waves of probability is even more crazy to try and grasp that imagining little balls rotating around some core.




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