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Author Topic: What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?  (Read 6084 times)

Offline neilep

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« on: 26/08/2007 00:57:21 »
Dearest Atomizers,

This is my hand:



Nice isn't it ?...Notice how non slushy it is and that it displays remarkable cohesion !

I find that my hand and other stuff also displays this wonderful capability.

Why's that then ?..Why are the atoms in my hand staying together ?..why does it just not fall apart in a pile of atomic slush !! ?...there's lots of empty space between atoms and within them yes ?

I am asking because I don't know !..Hard to believe I know !!






 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #1 on: 26/08/2007 08:06:38 »
Atoms consist of a nucleus with electrons whizzing around it. The nucleus itself consists of neutrons & protons (how many depends on the element concerned). You may be wondering what cheap & nasty Malaysian cars are doing in an atom - but these are a different type of proton. Unlike the similarly-named cars, these protons don't fall apart. The same is true of neutrons.

Neutrons & protons are made of quarks (not the slimy Ferengi from DS9!). Each proton or neutron consists of 3 quarks; either 1 up quark & 2 down quarks, or 2 up quarks & 1 down quark.

The quarks are strange, but charming, little things (a little physics joke there  :D ) that are held together by wee beasties called gluons. Gluons are massless gauge bosons that mediate the Strong Force. It is this force which stops neutrons & protons falling apart; unlike housewives whose preferred method is valium. The Strong Force is called strong because it's very strong. As a result, the quarks in the neutrons & protons are even harder to prise apart than Neil and his wallet!  :o

Electrons whizz around the neutrons & protons. Electrons carry negative charge whereas protons carry positive charge. As we all know, positive & negative find each other quite attractive so the electrons don't want to leave.

And that is why the atoms in your hand don't go walkabout into their constituent parts.

The next question is why don't the molecules that those atoms form fall apart?

The answer to that question is valence and the covalent bond. You see, a valence isn't just something pretty at the top of a pair of living-room curtains. Oh no . It means something different to scientists. Valence is where the electrons of atoms form a social networky sort of thing. But I'll leave the explanation of the intricacies of that to someone who knows what they're talking about.
 

Offline syhprum

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #2 on: 26/08/2007 09:09:11 »
Hydrogen atoms hang together in pairs because of the very strong magnetic force generated by the single electron whizzing round (45T ?)
« Last Edit: 26/08/2007 09:16:37 by syhprum »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #3 on: 26/08/2007 09:23:09 »
Yeah, that too  :D
 

Offline lightarrow

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #4 on: 26/08/2007 12:55:20 »
Atoms consist of a nucleus with electrons whizzing around it. The nucleus itself consists of neutrons & protons (how many depends on the element concerned). You may be wondering what cheap & nasty Malaysian cars are doing in an atom - but these are a different type of proton. Unlike the similarly-named cars, these protons don't fall apart. The same is true of neutrons.
?
Quote
The next question is why don't the molecules that those atoms form fall apart?
The answer to that question is valence and the covalent bond. You see, a valence isn't just something pretty at the top of a pair of living-room curtains. Oh no . It means something different to scientists. Valence is where the electrons of atoms form a social networky sort of thing. But I'll leave the explanation of the intricacies of that to someone who knows what they're talking about.
There are many kinds of bonds, not only the covalent bond. (I hope you don't ask me, or I should write here an entire chemistry book).
 

Offline lightarrow

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #5 on: 26/08/2007 12:56:36 »
Hydrogen atoms hang together in pairs because of the very strong magnetic force generated by the single electron whizzing round (45T ?)
I thought it was because of the electrostatic attractive force between the electron and the protons, however, we can discuss it!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #6 on: 26/08/2007 13:26:40 »
Proton is a make of car from Malaysia.
 

Offline neilep

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #7 on: 26/08/2007 14:02:57 »
Thank You Eth,

If I understand you correctly, you have wonderfully explained that a gluon is the adhesive which keeps an atom together . It's a lovely explanation, a wonderful statement and even I am able to comprehend it.

So, let me get this straight, Gluons keeps the atoms from falling apart themselves and the valence and covalent bond is what keeps one atom next to another atom !.....Sooperdooper !!

Incidentally, Captain Proton is also the name of a holodeck character ALA Flash Gordon enjoyed by Tom Paris and Harry Kim on Voyager.
« Last Edit: 26/08/2007 14:05:14 by neilep »
 

Offline neilep

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #8 on: 26/08/2007 14:04:49 »
Hydrogen atoms hang together in pairs because of the very strong magnetic force generated by the single electron whizzing round (45T ?)

THANK YOU syhprum,

.........so in addition to valence and covalent bond there's magnetism at work here too !!......Gosh, atoms don;t like being alone !!
 

Offline neilep

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #9 on: 26/08/2007 14:08:00 »
There are many kinds of bonds, not only the covalent bond. (I hope you don't ask me, or I should write here an entire chemistry book).

Ok !..I won't ask !! ;D..but I am beginning to discover that there are many varieties of ' superglue' out there..


THANKS ALBERTO
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #10 on: 26/08/2007 15:11:58 »
Thank You Eth,

If I understand you correctly, you have wonderfully explained that a gluon is the adhesive which keeps an atom together . It's a lovely explanation, a wonderful statement and even I am able to comprehend it.


No. Gluons bind quarks together to form protons & neutrons. Protons & neutrons are the nucleus of the atom. The electrons are held in place by a different force.
 

Offline ukmicky

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #11 on: 26/08/2007 15:24:52 »
Doc

I think what you are talking about, Quarks Protons & Neutrons etc is relevant but i think you are going a bit to deep.

I think the question being asked is more to do with the various types of atomic bonding , how atoms fuse together,how two atoms share electrons for example and then form molecules.
« Last Edit: 26/08/2007 15:30:27 by ukmicky »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #12 on: 26/08/2007 15:51:31 »
Doc

I think what you are talking about, Quarks Protons & Neutrons etc is relevant but i think you are going a bit to deep.

I think the question being asked is more to do with the various types of atomic bonding , how atoms fuse together,how two atoms share electrons for example and then form molecules.


Well, the question is a bit ambiguous - "What holds the atoms together?".
 

Offline ukmicky

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #13 on: 26/08/2007 16:11:23 »
They Dont call Neil Mr Ambiguous for nothing. ;D
 

Offline neilep

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #14 on: 26/08/2007 16:15:35 »
I might or might not be ambiguous !...I haven't decided yet !!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #15 on: 26/08/2007 16:40:41 »
They Dont call Neil Mr Ambiguous for nothing. ;D

How much do they pay you?
 

Offline lightarrow

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #16 on: 26/08/2007 18:27:01 »
Proton is a make of car from Malaysia.
Ah! Mistery solved  :)
 

Offline syhprum

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #17 on: 26/08/2007 18:47:09 »
My favourite intra molecular force is the weak Hydrogen bond that enables me to wet my finger and pick up breadcrumbs
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #18 on: 26/08/2007 20:28:09 »
My favourite intra molecular force is the weak Hydrogen bond that enables me to wet my finger and pick up breadcrumbs

So that's what it is. I'd often wondered about that. How does it work?
 

Offline syhprum

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #19 on: 26/08/2007 20:33:14 »
Don't know just know's it do's
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #20 on: 26/08/2007 21:19:08 »
OK. I'll see if I can find out.
 

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What Is Keeping The Atoms In My Hand Together ?
« Reply #20 on: 26/08/2007 21:19:08 »

 

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