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Thread: Making new materials

  1. #1 Making new materials 
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    So I was thinking of something highly theoretical and was wondering if it was possible. So everything is made up of atoms, but on a lower level protons neutrons and electrons. Steel contains no steel electrons or steel type protons. they are the same as carbon electron or carbon neutron. its just everything is bundled in different numbers of them. quarks i am unfamiliar with but i believe that even quarks are all the same, just 6 different types. but matter even gets smaller still if i am correct that make up quarks. but there are no material specific types. so what im getting at is do you think it would be possible to fabricate material using only electrons, protons and neutrons? probably not even anywhere in the near future but say i had a machine. and i start shoveling in random old car parts and other things, and it breaks down and isolates everything. then i put in a formula for steel. the machine starts assembling steel atoms and prints out steel sheets or rods what have you. i just wanted to pose this questions and saw what people thought. if it seems impossible say why but for the most part just ponder it and keep an open mind.


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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Not economically!
    In principle it's doable, but you'd probably have to wait a century or two before anything like that were a practical proposition.


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    Quote Originally Posted by dedshaw1612 View Post
    its just everything is bundled in different numbers of them.
    Since Dywyddyr answered the primary question, I wanted to focus on this bit.
    It's not just the numbers, that lead to the properties in raw elements. It's the structure and given balanced energy of the system.
    I may not have worded that well...

    But- you have hydrogen, right? 1 of each. (To keep it simple.)
    Proceed up the line- and you'll get to carbon... which also keeps it simple. Because of the valence bonds ( Molecular orbital theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) an element (one atom sample) has - in this case for carbon- Four. The structure of Carbon is different and how it will interact with other atoms, electrons etc. is also different because of this. The electrons will also drop or raise up on orbits, from a higher energy orbit, to a lower energy orbit. This also influences how outside energy can transfer, transform or act on the atomic structure.

    So, it's not just about how many of what there are, but what those additional protons or electrons do for the structure and behavior of the atom.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedshaw1612 View Post
    its just everything is bundled in different numbers of them.
    Since Dywyddyr answered the primary question, I wanted to focus on this bit.
    It's not just the numbers, that lead to the properties in raw elements. It's the structure and given balanced energy of the system.
    I may not have worded that well...

    But- you have hydrogen, right? 1 of each. (To keep it simple.)
    Proceed up the line- and you'll get to carbon... which also keeps it simple. Because of the valence bonds ( Molecular orbital theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) an element (one atom sample) has - in this case for carbon- Four. The structure of Carbon is different and how it will interact with other atoms, electrons etc. is also different because of this. The electrons will also drop or raise up on orbits, from a higher energy orbit, to a lower energy orbit. This also influences how outside energy can transfer, transform or act on the atomic structure.

    So, it's not just about how many of what there are, but what those additional protons or electrons do for the structure and behavior of the atom.
    Even if one has just a single type of atom, then how these are bonded together can make an enormous difference to the material properties. For example, both diamond and graphite are just carbon atoms bonded together differently. And if we consider organic chemistry, then even if all the atoms are bonded in the same way to each other, then that still may not be sufficient to uniquely specify the compound. For example, L-alanine and D-alanine differ only in that one is the mirror image of the other, yet cannot be regarded as the same compound.
    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
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    Isomers of the same compound are also categorized by location of elemental atoms. "Iso-Propyl Alcohol", common rubbing alcohol, has it's "OH" attached to the center carbon atom, instead of at either end of the carbon chain (C-C-C) which makes it "iso", whereas if the OH were attached at one end of the carbon chain, it would be "normal" (n) Propyl Alcohol.

    The chemical characteristics of isomers may vary widely from one-another, just due to location of specific atoms. jocular
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    My chem teacher always said alchemy is actually possible though not practical (for us mortals). Though I still think splitting atoms have catastrophic consequences? lol
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