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Author Topic: Splitting the atom when things break ?  (Read 5294 times)

Offline neilep

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Splitting the atom when things break ?
« on: 28/01/2007 15:49:02 »
You know how splitting the atom tends to result in bit of a bang ?

Well, how come when something breaks..a glass...a piece of paper...a rubber band etc etc..that the same resulting bang does not happen ?

Does not breaking something mean that at the two edges of the break an atom has been pulled apart to enable the break ?



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Offline neilep

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Splitting the atom when things break ?
« Reply #1 on: 28/01/2007 23:02:35 »
*sheepy grabs his magnifying glass (10x power..so it's well good !!)...looks at some  paper and rips it !!....Hmmpthh !!..me expected to see some atoms falling off but me sees none.*....perhaps my 10x magnifying glass is not working !!
 

Offline Karen W.

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Splitting the atom when things break ?
« Reply #2 on: 28/01/2007 23:18:47 »
LOL. A department I know very little but remember my third grade teacher showing us and having us work with the wooden mock up of molecules and Atoms... Yikes.. so long ago.. I really can,t remember a  thing.. This would be a good topic to learn from when people start posting from it..I could start from scratch...WHAT IS A ATOM? WHAT IS A MOLECULE? LOL I am serious and ashamed... ARE WHAT EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IS MADE OF RIGHT? I HOPE!
 

Offline neilep

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Splitting the atom when things break ?
« Reply #3 on: 29/01/2007 00:01:41 »
An atom is a big wooden round thing with bits around it that class rooms have to instruct about small things !!
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Splitting the atom when things break ?
« Reply #4 on: 29/01/2007 09:56:09 »
It depends how much energy is around!  You try pulling on an elastic band until it breaks your fingers will confirm the bang! as the free ends of the elastic band pile into them.

Splitting an atom is a bit like drinking too much beer.  You can keep piling in the neutrons (pints) and things settle down and the atom continues but if you drink one too many it feels okay to start with then the main bulk says "I've had one too many" and a mighty chunder suddenly comes out as the atom splits. 

Now one atom chundering like that doesn't have much effect but of you have a load of atoms and they're all on the verge of going the sight of one person puking sets off a mighty wave and thats when you get an atomic bomb!  :-)
« Last Edit: 29/01/2007 09:59:48 by Soul Surfer »
 

Offline neilep

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Splitting the atom when things break ?
« Reply #5 on: 29/01/2007 16:50:08 »
THANK YOU IAN,

*le sigh*...seems I am just going to have to start drinking to understand  !
......though I do and I appreciate your helping me here.

 

Offline Karen W.

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Splitting the atom when things break ?
« Reply #6 on: 29/01/2007 17:08:11 »
  LOL LOL...Ian..

Yes indeedy, Neil I remember those but too long ago! LOL
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Splitting the atom when things break ?
« Reply #7 on: 30/01/2007 18:33:13 »
Surely, when something breaks atoms separate from each other rather than the atoms themselves splitting. Isn't it called "valence"?

It's a bit like Lego. Pulling 2 bricks apart is easy (unless Neil has been there with his superglue) but breaking a brick takes a bit more effort with something akin to a sledgehammer.

Here's a thought. If you join 2 Lego bricks and drop them out of a 1st storey window (that's 2nd storey to our American friends) they would probably stay joined. But if you dropped a Lego house it would probably smash to smithereens. Can someone explain this?
 

Offline eric l

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Splitting the atom when things break ?
« Reply #8 on: 30/01/2007 18:45:58 »
If you make the "house" solid, it will hit the ground at a greater speed than the two-brick-assembly.  Why ?  Volume and mass are proportional to the 3rd power of the dimension, surface is proportional to the square of the dimension.
Suppose the house would be a 10 times upscale of the two-brick-assembly (and solid), the mass would be 1000 times greater, the surface only 100 times greater.  But that means also that air resistance would be only 100 times greater.  The maximum speed for the house would be considerably larger.
If, on the other hand, you make your house hollow, then the impact when hitting the ground would have to be absorbed by relatively thin walls, rather than by a solid two-brick-assembly assembly. 
« Last Edit: 30/01/2007 18:47:48 by eric l »
 

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Splitting the atom when things break ?
« Reply #8 on: 30/01/2007 18:45:58 »

 

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