Ed Wilson asked:
Does a proton always have the same electron?
We asked David and Caroline for their thoughts on this slightly philosophical question!
David - No, it doesn’t. The nucleus will be that old but it can gain its electrons and lose it and yeah.
Kat - We’re getting sort of philosophical like what is an atom? Is it like always, do you step into the same atom twice?
Caroline - I imagine there's not many hydrogen atoms that have kept their same electron for 13.7 billion years. Also, I'm not really sure how you test that. I don’t think you can. I think it must be speculative really.
Kat - Yeah, that you can identify an individual electron.
David - You can't fingerprint an electron. But the state of the universe in the early days, the nuclei and electrons would’ve been separate.
Kat - Wildly promiscuous swapping of electrons.