Can an atom be destroyed?

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Offline FuzzyUK

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Can an atom be destroyed?
« on: 13/12/2009 17:37:34 »
Can an atom be destroyed or is this an outdated way of thinking? It certainly seems the atom can be modified in some way, or part of an atom when bombarded hard enough can release energy.
« Last Edit: 13/12/2009 17:41:05 by FuzzyUK »

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nixietube

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Can an atom be destroyed?
« Reply #1 on: 13/12/2009 18:01:08 »

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Offline Mr. Scientist

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Can an atom be destroyed?
« Reply #2 on: 14/12/2009 16:21:32 »
The conservation of energy due to ZPF means that matter can be created an destroyed... the scale of an atom would be much more difficult to destroy but can be converted into energy by splitting it. The uncertainty principle allows us to believe that in relation to time, that some of this energy may change.
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Offline Pmb

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Can an atom be destroyed?
« Reply #3 on: 16/12/2009 01:06:38 »
Can an atom be destroyed or is this an outdated way of thinking? It certainly seems the atom can be modified in some way, or part of an atom when bombarded hard enough can release energy.
Yes. E.g. any atom can be annihilated by colliding it with the same atom made of antimatter. E.g. take an antiproton which has a positron orbiting it. This is an antihydrogen atom. If this combines with a hydrogen atom the result is pure radiation.