Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Physics, Astronomy & Cosmology => Topic started by: buket on 19/10/2016 14:44:36

Title: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: buket on 19/10/2016 14:44:36
What happens when we touch objects? Do electrons repel eachother and therefore we can not literally touch things?
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: zx16 on 19/10/2016 17:33:03
Every physical object is made of atoms. The atoms are encased in outer shells of electrons, which mutually repel each other.

This repelling effect, must prevent any direct physical contact, or "touching", between atoms.

Therefore I would say, that since we are beings made of atoms, we can't really "touch" objects.
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: buket on 19/10/2016 19:08:48
Below is the video in which the scientist tells that we can contact with objects

Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: yor_on on 31/10/2016 22:46:02
Hmm? Can't see that utube movie, or link, at all?

Try this one www.youtube.com/watch?v=BksyMWSygnc

If you consider that we're 'standing waves' in some contexts, 'touching' becomes rather strange.
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: Colin2B on 31/10/2016 23:04:33
Perhaps you ought to define what you mean by touching, just try to keep it clean!
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: chiralSPO on 01/11/2016 01:50:04
I'm with Colin on this one. I think that it doesn't make sense to insist that we do not actually touch things. Once "our" electrons transition from attracting to repelling the matter that makes up the object in question, I would say that defines the point of contact.
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: yor_on on 01/11/2016 10:04:18
Well, yes. It's all depending on definitions. A human can't be described as a wave function, it's not meaningful to do so, we 'interact' too much with the environment (decoherence), although you should be able to isolate a fingernail, possibly :) So yeah, 'touching it is'.
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: jeffreyH on 01/11/2016 13:24:25
We have a sense of touch. This allows us to distinguish textures and gauge temperature. There is an interaction between fingertip and object. The issue we have is in the definition of solid object. On a macroscopic scale this appears entirely reasonable until we discover that objects consist of 99% empty space. This does not affect our senses. They still work.
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: yor_on on 01/11/2016 20:03:18
Actually touch, is more than just one sense if I remember right, it's a combination of several different nerve-endings reacting to different stimuli. Sense of Touch (http://www.hometrainingtools.com/a/skin-touch) and then, also interesting How Our Sense Of Touch Affects Everything We Do. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/20/neuroscience-touch_n_6489050.html)
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: buket on 02/11/2016 12:08:42
Physics Prof. Philip Moriarty explains the touching process as the contact point where the attracting and repelling forces between objects reach an equilibrium. What do you think about it?
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: chiralSPO on 02/11/2016 14:51:41
Physics Prof. Philip Moriarty explains the touching process as the contact point where the attracting and repelling forces between objects reach an equilibrium. What do you think about it?

This is in line with my thinking. (Though Sherlock would likely be disappointed in me for agreeing with Professor Moriarty... :-) )
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: zx16 on 04/11/2016 22:07:27
As the above posters have pointed out, "touching" for humans usually depends on our mere subjective nervous sensations, which don't necessarily require any direct physical contact.

A true physical contact can only occur in "nuclear fusion", like in an H-Bomb, or the Sun.  Here elemental Hydrogen atoms truly "touch"  - by coming into such intimate contact that their very nuclei fuse.  Thus producing an enormous explosion of energy, and the creation of a new element Helium.

This phenomenon doesn't occur when humans "touch" their bodily parts together. With one possible exception, which for reasons of decency I refrain from mentioning.



Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: Colin2B on 04/11/2016 22:24:58
...........Thus producing an enormous explosion of energy, and the creation of a new element Helium.

This phenomenon doesn't occur when humans "touch" their bodily parts together. With one possible exception, which for reasons of decency I refrain from mentioning.

I never realised it created helium!
I suppose, had it been hydrogen no one would have smoked afterwards!
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: yor_on on 04/11/2016 22:34:02
Damn, I missed that one,  and I think my partner missed it too :)
we're explosives, sort of?
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: buket on 14/11/2016 19:25:20
What do we exchange when we touch an object besides photons?
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: chiralSPO on 14/11/2016 19:40:20
What do we exchange when we touch an object besides photons?

Protons (H+) and electrons can often transfer across interfaces at fairly high rates. So it is very common to exchange these very light (but still massive) particles with most objects or substances that 'come into contact' with your skin. This does not rely on any very stringent definition of "actually touching" because these particles can tunnel over molecule-sized distances (up to 0.5 nm at room temp wouldn't be unreasonable, and slightly farther at body temp).
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: Wicked96 on 19/11/2016 14:36:52
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: buket on 20/11/2016 19:14:55

I think this can be considered as touching. Why don't you think so?
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: Wicked96 on 20/11/2016 22:32:39
Its up to you to, if you think its touching then its touching.
Title: Re: Can we really touch objects?
Post by: yor_on on 21/11/2016 18:32:57
Yep :)

And if I touch her, and she she touches me
Life goes on