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Author Topic: What is in the space between atoms?  (Read 8012 times)

paul.fr

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What is in the space between atoms?
« on: 21/01/2008 14:06:12 »
For example, water is is composed of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom. There must be some space between the atoms, but what is in that space?


 

Offline Soul Surfer

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #1 on: 21/01/2008 14:31:01 »
Vacuum and electromagnetic fields.  The amount of space depends whether the water is a solid a liquid or a gas.  You did not specify which in your question.
 

Offline kalayzor

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #2 on: 21/01/2008 14:31:47 »
Nothing...and everything - at the same time!

The space between two bound atoms is, per current theory anyhow, the orbital of a sigma bond between two atoms, so there's a certain probability of finding electrons in a given spot within it, but there are also things from the quantum vacuum popping in and out of existence all the time everywhere, but more noticeably on the quantum scale.
 

paul.fr

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #3 on: 21/01/2008 14:51:29 »
Nothing...and everything - at the same time!

kalayzor, is there less nothing and everything when water is frozen? If so, where did the nothing and everything go?
 

paul.fr

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #4 on: 21/01/2008 14:53:11 »
Vacuum and electromagnetic fields.  The amount of space depends whether the water is a solid a liquid or a gas.  You did not specify which in your question.

Sorry, Ian. Does my post above cover that?
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #5 on: 21/01/2008 15:14:46 »
The difference is in the electromagntetic fields you can have as much or as little vacuum as you need because on the average there is nothing there.  for the gas the molecules are moving freely have momentum and are bouncing freeley off each other and the walls of their container creating pressure.  If there is no container (or gravitational field  like the earth's atmosphere)  They will just fly off into the wide blue younder and never be seen again.  If the water is a solid, the molecules are joggling around but linked together by residual electromagnetic attraction in a rigid electromagnetic framework.  If the water is a liquid, the molcules are linked together but can slide over each other.  Liquid water ois a bit unusual because it is a bit of a polymer with several atoms linked quite firmly togethe by their polar attraction.  This is because the two hydrogen atoms are not bonded exactly on either side of the oxygen atom 180 degrees apear but are at an angle of about 109 degrees and the molcule has an electrical charge at one end.
 

Offline razorbill

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #6 on: 27/01/2008 22:51:35 »
SIMPLE........NOTHING
 

lyner

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #7 on: 31/01/2008 11:23:42 »
SIMPLE........NOTHING
Correction - Empty SPACE. 'Space' ain't the same as  'nothing'!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #8 on: 31/01/2008 13:05:04 »
SIMPLE........NOTHING
Correction - Empty SPACE. 'Space' ain't the same as  'nothing'!

Correction - "Empty" SPACE? uh-uh - it ain't empty.  :P
 

Offline Alandriel

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #9 on: 31/01/2008 14:06:10 »
Hm - some people would say CREATIVE VACUUM

I must admit I'm rather partial to that particular description  :)
 

Offline McQueen

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #10 on: 09/02/2008 11:00:51 »
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21/01/2008 14:31:01
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Vacuum and electromagnetic fields.  The amount of space depends whether the water is a solid a liquid or a gas.  You did not specify which in your question.
absolute BS if you ask me, where do EM fields come in. According to QM all interactions between electrons are due to the absorption and emission of photons. Where does EM field come into it????
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #11 on: 10/02/2008 09:44:44 »
If you want a quantum mechanical description.  The space between the atoms consists of bare nuclei (that are dynamically active at very high energies, but this activity is very localised and takes no part in normal chemical bonding), surrounded by a cloud of electrons in particular quantum states that are continually emitting and absorbing real and virtual photons such that when they integrated over all possible interactions they average out to create the electromagnetic field that is holding the atoms together.  The molecules are also moving and vibrating exchanging real and virtual photons  (sometimes called phonons in the solid state) the amount and freedom of the movements depends on whether the material is a solid a liquid or a gas.  In a solid the atoms are fixed at some mean position and vibrate around it in a liquid the atoms are free to move and change position but cannot escape from the boundaries of the material because the forces that attract them together exceed the energy in the vibrations.  In a gas the forces of molecular movement overcomes the basic attractions between the molecules and they are completely free to move.
« Last Edit: 29/02/2008 23:03:01 by Soul Surfer »
 

lyner

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #12 on: 15/02/2008 13:22:58 »
Quote
absolute BS if you ask me
The concept of fields is a perfectly valid one; it helps you predict what will happen under many circumstances. If you regard the Field concept as the differential of the Energy situation , spatially, then a change of energy (mediated, if you like, by photons) is quite acceptable and need not be dismissed as BS. QM doesn't forbit the idea of fields - in fact, how does the Hamiltonian arise if it doesn't involve the field-related energy?
« Last Edit: 21/02/2008 17:23:23 by sophiecentaur »
 

Offline rhade

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #13 on: 21/02/2008 11:11:30 »
Soul Surfer, can I just point out that the lack of punctuation in the above post made it fairly hard to read.

As for the topic, I feel inclined to point out that there may be things as yet unknown to science somewhere in these not-so-empty spaces.
« Last Edit: 12/09/2008 17:21:42 by rhade »
 

Offline lightarrow

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #14 on: 21/02/2008 12:36:13 »
Quote
Vacuum and electromagnetic fields.  The amount of space depends whether the water is a solid a liquid or a gas.  You did not specify which in your question.
absolute BS if you ask me, where do EM fields come in. According to QM all interactions between electrons are due to the absorption and emission of photons. Where does EM field come into it????
According to many physicists, it's the field to be more fundamental than particles.
By the way, did you know that an electric field has mass (differently from a photon which doesn't have)? Amazing, isnt'it?
 

Offline lightarrow

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #15 on: 21/02/2008 12:40:31 »
SIMPLE........NOTHING
Correction - Empty SPACE. 'Space' ain't the same as  'nothing'!

Correction - "Empty" SPACE? uh-uh - it ain't empty.  :P
You know that "space" is something physical even without matter, not simply a mathematical description, it has specific physical properties, as electric permittivity, magnetic permeability. In GR, spacetime can have curvature. Can "nothing" have such a thing?  :)
 

lyner

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #16 on: 21/02/2008 17:27:09 »
OK. Anything you like but not 'nothing'.
'Nothing' could do nothing and have no effect on anything so there's got to be 'something'.
The only 'place' you could say there was 'nothing' would have to be 'outside' the Universe. This is a bit too Zen for me.
 

Offline ask

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #17 on: 24/02/2008 09:05:41 »
For example, water is is composed of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom. There must be some space between the atoms, but what is in that space?

Maybe there is a very tiny charged particle fill up the space. http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=13122.0
 

lyner

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #18 on: 24/02/2008 16:27:56 »
would this have a positive or negative charge?
It would affect, strongly, the attraction between protons and electrons and you would need a whole new Physics; you couldn't easily (even possibly?) incorporate that in our present, accepted model.
There are neutral particles which pass quite happily in the spaces 'inside atoms', neutrons are more or less unaffected as they move through atoms, unless they hit the nucleus, of course.
 

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What is in the space between atoms?
« Reply #18 on: 24/02/2008 16:27:56 »

 

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