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Thread: Can physically an atom be heavier than our earth?

  1. #1 Can physically an atom be heavier than our earth? 
    precious sir ir r aj's Avatar
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    I was wondering if physically an atom can be heavier than our earth? Lets take for example "neutron star".

    Take twice the mass of the Sun and compact it into the size of Los Angeles, and that’s roughly how dense a neutron star is. Which is just ludicrous, when you think about it. A cubic metre of neutron star material would weigh just under 400 billion tonnes. Approximately the same weight as all the water in the Atlantic Ocean!
    8 Neutron Star “Facts”! | Supernova Condensate
    what I refer when I use word "Atom"
    An atom is the basic unit of an element. An atom is a form of matter which may not be further broken down using any chemical means. A typical atom consists of protons, neutrons and electrons.
    What Is an Atom?


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    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    At this point in our understanding of atomic theory, it does not seem likely that any element would be possible to be that heavy.

    I will note you are comparing two very different things (atoms and stars) in your opening.


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    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    The strong nuclear force that holds atomic nuclei together is VERY short range. An atom as heavy as you suggest made up of normal nucleons would be too large for this force to be effective. So the answer is no.
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    precious sir ir r aj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    The strong nuclear force that holds atomic nuclei together is VERY short range. An atom as heavy as you suggest made up of normal nucleons would be too large for this force to be effective. So the answer is no.
    can you , plz, explain it further. thanks
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    precious sir ir r aj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    (atoms and stars)
    Yes, I took inspiration from stars.
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  7. #6  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    What further explanation do you need? The strong force (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong_interaction) operates only over very short distances, atoms of atomic mass ~240 or so are already getting large enough that this force cannot keep the nucleus stable as at the size of these nuclei the electromagnetic repulsion between protons becomes important (that's part of the reason why they are radioactive) so there is no way an atom made of protons and neutrons as massive as the Earth can be held together.
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