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Celestial Atomic Physics

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posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 09:10 AM
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This is a really interesting article I read today, about the insight and links between astronomy and atomic physics.

Celestial Atomic Physics




"We now know that chaotic trajectories identical to those that govern the motion of comets, asteroids, and spacecraft are traversed on the atomic scale by highly excited Rydberg electrons," Mason Porter and Predrag Cvitanović remark in the October Notices of the American Mathematical Society.

Indeed, the mathematics describing the motion of gravitationally interacting bodies in space closely parallels the mathematics describing the motion of the smallest particles of atomic and molecular physics. As it happens, the special case of the celestial restricted three-body problem is mathematically analogous to the situation when a hydrogen atom loses its electron (via ionization) in crossed electric and magnetic fields.



The article goes on to say ..



So, theory from atomic and molecular physics can be used on a much grander, celestial scale, and celestial mechanics can provide insights into atomic and molecular interactions. "The orbits used to design space missions thus also determine the ionization rates of atoms and chemical-reaction rates of molecules!" Porter and Cvitanović declare.



[edit on 12-9-2005 by lost_shaman]




posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 11:30 AM
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I am by no means an expert in physics, whether stellar or subatomic, but I suppose it makes sense that the microcosmos and macrocosmos are, in a way, doppelgängers. After all, Neils Bohr's depiction of the atom (although it might be flawed in retrospect) astounded everyone in that it looked like a scaled-down solar system!



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 04:29 PM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
After all, Neils Bohr's depiction of the atom (although it might be flawed in retrospect) astounded everyone in that it looked like a scaled-down solar system!


Yeah, that whole immediately anihilating itself thing was a real downer.


Like OTS, I'm not all that surprised. On a slightly spiritual level, there's something to be said for a world built of smaller objects, and that it should mirror those objects. On a much more concrete level, why not? Are escape velocity and ionizatoin energy so far apart from each other? A 1/R^2 relationship is still a 1/R^2 relationship, and ellipses are still almost circles.



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 05:28 PM
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[edit on 9-12-2005 by WaStEdDeAtH777]



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 12:23 AM
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Having been an area of thought that has consumed many hours of my life , I found it very gratifying to know that what I had assumed was basically correct.

Its good to know your right once in a while , right?



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 12:42 PM
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Interesting article, and a good thread


This sort of thing has always intrigued me as well... and it is very satisfying to have scientific confirmation of the old Hermetic principle, "as above, so below."

Our universe is a beautiful place, isn't it? And I think that the more we learn about it, the more we will one day be able to understand ourselves.



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