At A Subatomic Scale Could We Tell Where Any Given Object Ends & Another Begins?

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Every night when I got to bed I think deeply about all sorts of stuff dealing with our universe, and I'll do thought experiments, or theorize about black holes, or the big bang, or gravity, or time... I'll think about the sheer scale of the universe, and imagine peering down upon it etc.  But last night I went the other direction.  I imagined what I'm made of, thinking about all the space between my atoms, what if I was to zoom in, and keep zooming in, I would look like; if I was say in a sub atomic spaceship flying around within me.

But then I was fascinated by something...  When it comes down to it, every particle I'm made of, and in fact, every particle that everything that is anything generally is made of, is made up of up quarks and down quarks.  So that made me think further... That if I was flying around within me, and I could see to such a small scale; suspending for a minute the fact that there would be so much space in between every particle I came across, what I would be seeing is a soup of up quarks and down quarks, no real distinction between them.  Just these elementary particles with a bunch of space and electromagnetic interactions between them.  But what that also means, is that I would never, ever be able to tell when my spaceship crossed from 'me' and into the bed, or from the bed into the floor etc.  It would all just look exactly the same.

In fact, this entire universe, if looked at from above as a whole, but able to be zoomed in to that level, would just be a bunch of quarks, with no distinct anything.  All of us would be identical, but not just to each other, but even to the chair I'm sitting in right now.  We want to consider ourselves to be special, to be sentient, and different than the rock we pick up and throw.  But are we?  Even our consciousness is just the product of these quarks (as well as from electrons and electromagnetic interactions etc), everything we are is.   So when it comes down to it, I am no different from this chair.  At all. In any way whatsoever.  Our particles are exactly the same, to where if I was flying that ship, I would never, ever be able to tell when I had left my physical body and ventured into the chair instead.   No matter what substance each was made from, no matter what molecules, how many protons, how many neutrons, when considering the space that would be between them all, it would just be a bunch of floating quarks indistinguishable from one form of matter to the next.

This concept fascinated me, this thought that I am my chair, and it me. That all matter shares this common bond, that it is all the same, made of just two different types of quarks.  And that no matter how deeply I think, I am no more special than any of it.  My quarks are just simply in different orientations and are having different interactions.  But we're all still just these quarks, same as our chairs.  So now when I talk to inanimate objects, I won't feel as crazy.

But am I missing something here, or at a simplistic level, is this correct?  If just flying throughout this soup of quarks, would an observer ever be able to tell where my body ended and my chair begins? 


Offline chiralSPO

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An object (as defined by us mere humans) is more about the organization of matter than about the actual matter itself.

We are constantly exchanging electrons, atoms and molecules with our environments. Even inanimate "objects" which do not metabolize, and have no "moving parts" (like a coffee mug) are in a state of perpetual exchange.

As far as I know, all of the elementary particles in the universe belong to a class of identical, indistinguishable particles. It is only how these particles are organized that makes any difference.

This is perhaps analogous to an alphabet. There are 26 letters (elementary particles): every a is the same as every other a, and the same goes for b, c, d... but these letters can be grouped in small clusters (words, perhaps like atoms) that interact with each other to form organizations (phrases and sentences, like molecules) that ultimately "work" together to form novels, theses, news articles, plays etc. etc.

By only looking at individual letters one would not be able to distinguish an o from The Merchant of Venice and an o from a very dirty limerick, but that doesn't mean there is no difference between the two higher order organizations.

I hope this is more food for thought.


Offline kasparovitch

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I liked this post by IAMREALITY  [:)]

Makes me remind that sometimes, like him or her, I think about our brain in terms of atoms.

There are trillions of them in a brain, assembled in molecules for the most part.

All of them make a brain. Now, just think about one of them.

It can be anywhere in myelin, a synapse receptor, DNA in a nucleus, an ion inside a neuron...

It's an atom you can see anywhere else, perhaps on the floor of your house.

Every activity in our brains involves changes within each atom, including the one you're thinking about.

Or perhaps it can't change at all at any time whatever brain activity goes on.

How important is that single atom?

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« Last Edit: 21/06/2016 00:05:11 by kasparovitch »


Offline timey

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I liked this post by IAMREALITY  [:)]

Agreed!  And ChiralSPO's post also was food for thought.  I like it when a post makes me think from a different perspective.
« Last Edit: 21/06/2016 00:18:30 by timey »