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Thread: What force holds a human being's atoms together?

  1. #1 What force holds a human being's atoms together? 
    Forum Freshman MarcoPolo's Avatar
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    Maybe this belongs in Biology, but it seemed more physics related. I'm tinkering with some science fiction, and if someone wanted a weapon that would break the bonds of a human being, essentially neutering whatever force holds his molecules/atoms together, what force would they need to break apart? What holds a human being together in the shape he is in? In other words, why doesn't a person's atoms just drift apart, disintegrating a person into a shapeless cloud of dust to dissipate in the wind?


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    I think you are looking for this:

    Strong interaction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Also the recent discovery of the Higg's Boson (unrelated) says that without them particles would fly apart at the speed of light.


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    Instead of the holding together of atoms in compound structures and molecules, I think it would be more interesting if you talk about the atoms themselves. The positively charged protons (like charges) in the nucleus want to repel each other, but the strong nuclear force keeps it together. Without it, there would be no ordered structure we know as the atom, at least not for most ordinary matter. And without atoms, we wouldn't exist.

    Breaking apart someone's atoms is referenced a lot when in context for science fiction media. Though I can't possibly imagine what it would look like if you destroyed someone like that, I'm sure it would have the effect you're asking for. Or, you could think of the War of the Worlds where the big tripods were disintegrating people into dust, but I'm sure that's a different, more macroscopic process. Maybe you could say that a beam of energy is so powerful that it erupts your body into a chemical reaction, leaving you as dust. I don't know if there's any scientific validity to this but it sure sounds sci-fi.

    (btw, I'm no expert)
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    Electromagnetic forces

    (its what made your molecule stick)
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    The nuclear attraction of shared electrons holds molecules, and by extension us, together. It's strong enough to resist many forces, but we're not indestructible. We may not blow apart in wind, but a strong solvent like hydrofluoric acid will do the job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
    Maybe this belongs in Biology, but it seemed more physics related. I'm tinkering with some science fiction, and if someone wanted a weapon that would break the bonds of a human being, essentially neutering whatever force holds his molecules/atoms together, what force would they need to break apart? What holds a human being together in the shape he is in? In other words, why doesn't a person's atoms just drift apart, disintegrating a person into a shapeless cloud of dust to dissipate in the wind?
    The strong force holds neuclei together and the electric force holds atoms and molecules together and that's what holds people together since we're all made of atoms and molecules
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    I think you are looking for this:

    Strong interaction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Also the recent discovery of the Higg's Boson (unrelated) says that without them particles would fly apart at the speed of light.
    Re: Higg's Boson - do you mean that the discovery of HB shed light on the force of Strong Interaction?
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmb View Post
    The strong force holds neuclei together and the electric force holds atoms and molecules together and that's what holds people together since we're all made of atoms and molecules
    So it seems like Strong force is what holds the pieces of atoms themselves together. And electric (aka electromagnetic force??) holds atoms together as molecules. Is that correct?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
    So it seems like Strong force is what holds the pieces of atoms themselves together. And electric (aka electromagnetic force??) holds atoms together as molecules. Is that correct?
    Let's not forget that the electric force is what keeps electrons bound to the neucleus. Besides that, yes. That is correct.
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    super intermolecular glue, by 3M
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    Quote Originally Posted by fizzlooney View Post
    super intermolecular glue, by 3M
    Huh??
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    it glue 2 molecule together. Like what glue does best!
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    Both the strong nuclear and electromagnetic forces are important in holding together an atom, as far as I know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmb View Post
    Let's not forget that the electric force is what keeps electrons bound to the neucleus. Besides that, yes. That is correct.
    Ok, thanks, I think I'm getting this. Please bear with me.

    First, is electromagnetic force the same as electric force? Just different monikers for the same idea?

    Second, so would this be accurate:

    STRONG FORCE HOLDS:
    Protons & Neutrons in the nucleus

    ELECTRIC FORCE HOLDS:
    Electrons around the nucleus
    Atoms in a molecule


    Also, do these forces also govern the proper "distance" these things float apart from each other?
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    If you want the Achilles' Heel for humans at the submicroscopic level, then try ultrasonic frequencies at the wavelength that would disrupt the cell membranes' lipid bilayer (a few nanometers thick) whose thickness is peculiar to the human species (although I doubt that human lipid bilayers are any different from other animals, but they might be, especially for the purposes of science fiction).

    The effect is similar to besieging armies breaching castle walls; the contents of the cells would spill out. Basically, the flesh would liquefy. This would/should not affect metals, plastics, liquids, gases, etc ... and probably not plant cells, although animal cells might be as equally affected as human cells. Perhaps/probably it would not affect bones so the flesh of a human would sluice off the individual's bones. Yuck!

    Because higher frequencies are more "directional" than lower frequencies, they will act like a beam, which makes them perfect for weapons that are meant to be aimed. So, you and your pal can aim at the two guards on either side of a prisoner without harming the prisoner ... although, if a guard is holding his arm a bit too close, he might end up with a few liquefied fingers (hopefully just the fingertips)! And beams do tend to spread as they travel, so distance to the target is a concern, although they say that those expensive Banshee Mk 4 sniper disrupter rifles with laser scopes can liquify a hole through a man's heart at 1,000 meters ...

    And, yes, you should be able to shoot a glass of undrinkable water to kill all/most of the microbes in it.
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    I believe all four fundamental forces are responsible for the structure of the human body.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    ... ... ... ... Reality is not always probable, or likely..
    and, you jr are the living proof
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
    Maybe this belongs in Biology, but it seemed more physics related. I'm tinkering with some science fiction, and if someone wanted a weapon that would break the bonds of a human being, essentially neutering whatever force holds his molecules/atoms together, what force would they need to break apart? What holds a human being together in the shape he is in? In other words, why doesn't a person's atoms just drift apart, disintegrating a person into a shapeless cloud of dust to dissipate in the wind?
    In physics, Protons and neutrons. In biogology the electro magnetic force of the family structure holds the atoms together.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    ... ... ... ... Reality is not always probable, or likely.
    and, you jr are the living proof
    Huh? What do you mean?

    Then ..... if I'm not probably or likely, am I at least close? Is it at least somewhat reasonable that HF Ultrasound can disrupt lipid bilayers?

    PS — It's a quote by Jorge Luis Borges.
    Last edited by jrmonroe; July 31st, 2012 at 04:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
    Ok, thanks, I think I'm getting this. Please bear with me.

    First, is electromagnetic force the same as electric force? Just different monikers for the same idea?
    Yes. That is correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
    Second, so would this be accurate:

    STRONG FORCE HOLDS:
    Protons & Neutrons in the nucleus
    Yes. That's correct too.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
    ELECTRIC FORCE HOLDS:
    Electrons around the nucleus
    Atoms in a molecule
    Yes. Keep in mind that its the electric force that is what the strong force is working against. There is a lot of electric energy stored in the nucleus. When a nuclear bomb goes off its the electric energy that is being released. Not energy from the srong force.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
    Also, do these forces also govern the proper "distance" these things float apart from each other?
    Please clarify what you mean by that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmb View Post
    Keep in mind that its the electric force that is what the strong force is working against. There is a lot of electric energy stored in the nucleus. When a nuclear bomb goes off its the electric energy that is being released. Not energy from the srong force.
    Can you elaborate on the idea that the forces are working against each other?
    Please clarify what you mean by that.
    Regarding the "distance".... Maybe an analogy will help. You know how the moon is at a relatively fixed distance from the earth because of gravity, mass, spin, or whatever. So what keeps the electrons at whatever "distance" they are from a nucleus? Also, atoms in a molecule aren't absolutely tangent, are they? So what keeps them at the "distance" from each other that they are?
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    Well, they aren't really "fixed". I mean, they are found in cloud-like areas and there are areas where they don't exist. You should disband the notion that an electron orbit is similar to the Moon's orbit. They are more erratic than that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Well, they aren't really "fixed". I mean, they are found in cloud-like areas and there are areas where they don't exist. You should disband the notion that an electron orbit is similar to the Moon's orbit. They are more erratic than that.
    Ok, so what force keeps them in their erratic "orbit" then?
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    The electromagnetic Force.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Well, they aren't really "fixed". I mean, they are found in cloud-like areas and there are areas where they don't exist. You should disband the notion that an electron orbit is similar to the Moon's orbit. They are more erratic than that.
    Ok, so what force keeps them in their erratic "orbit" then?
    If I look at the family structure and use this as an example, the mother and the father is the nucleus, the children are like the electrons that circle around the parents. The younger children are closer to the parents (the center) than the older children. Just consider the older children are circling on the outer ring of the parent(the atom) the energy that is in the center is more potent that the energy on the outer circle, so the child that has now become an adult on the outer circle is attracted by some greater force from outside of the atom (the parental pull) and so goes off to start a new nucleus. The younger child is kept colser to the mother and father by some stronger force. What is that force that keeps the family together. It really comes from the action and commitment of the parents. is it magnetic? or what is it?

    Can this analogy be used?
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    No, and this fluff does not beong in the Physics forum. You are testing the patience of the moderators.
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    Sorry. I don't understand that analogy at all. What is the "parental pull" supposed to be? And um... You yourself don't seem to understand the analogy as apparent by your questions. So why make an analogy?
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    The analogy is cute, but I honestly think it confuses the issue even more.

    If you don't understand the actual forces at work, you're not doing yourself a favor by applying an analogy.

    I'm not a teacher, but the best way I can explain the travel of the electron around the nucleus is through the work of two infinities: potential and kinetic. As the electron is pulled toward the nucleus, the potential energy begins to decrease as its kinetic energy (speed) increases. These two can approach infinity, but because energy cannot be created or destroyed in this process (electrons, of course, can be moved through outside forces) the limit cannot be reached. When the electron is close to the nucleus, it's kinetic energy is high and it is thrown away like a boomerang out the other side. As it increases in distance, the potential energy, the one which causes its attraction to the nucleus, begins to rise again and it is pulled back toward the positive attraction of the nucleus. This process then repeats.

    I don't know if that is a decent explanation or not. It's sort of what I picture in my head minus the actual functions of quantum theory. I'm sure someone else on here can do a better job of explaining it, but that's the very very basic principle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by halorealm View Post
    Sorry. I don't understand that analogy at all. What is the "parental pull" supposed to be? And um... You yourself don't seem to understand the analogy as apparent by your questions. So why make an analogy?
    I understand it quite well, I am trying to find ways of looking at the problem rather than do nothing. I think it gives a closer look at the problem if we can use real images rather than guessing. The reason for my asking if my anology can work is because I was not sure it might be understood because I am using people instead of atoms. Protons and neutrons are the two main forces that act upon each other while the nutrons prevents the atom from blowing apart, yet there are other forces that keep the electrons circling around the center. As the atom evolve around itself the electron on the outer Valence band is pulled away by the energy force coming from outside of the said atom. if you are equating this with our earth and the moon then I would think something simular is happening.


    I am saying that families work in a simular way but we do not equate it with bodies like our planet and the moon. But try to look closely and dont just reject it. new ideas are what science is about. Parental pull is the energy that the parents generate to keep the neclus of the family together. it is like a gravitation pull or magnetic pull.
    Last edited by Mother/father; August 4th, 2012 at 11:26 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    No, and this fluff does not beong in the Physics forum. You are testing the patience of the moderators.
    Why am I testing the patience of the moderator? I was tryng to give an analogy in an effort to participate in the discussion. Why do you take it so personal? It would be kind of nice if you would realise that this is the internet and this is a forum where one expresses themself to the best of their abilty taking into consideration that there are different people, different cultures, different languages, and so on. I think using this fourum should be an enjoyable experience and one should not always be on the defensive. The world is not going to end if my analogy is not understood, we just move on and learn.
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    At a very simple level, the electrons are bound to the nucleus by their differing charges (nucleus positive, electrons negative).

    After that, it gets more complicated. Quantum theory says that electrons can only have discrete energy levels, that no two electrons can be in the same state, etc. This leads to electrons being arranged in "shells" at different distances (energy levels) around the nucleus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    At a very simple level, the electrons are bound to the nucleus by their differing charges (nucleus positive, electrons negative).

    After that, it gets more complicated. Quantum theory says that electrons can only have discrete energy levels, that no two electrons can be in the same state, etc. This leads to electrons being arranged in "shells" at different distances (energy levels) around the nucleus.
    OK for once we see it the same way. I am making the point that families are very simular, no two persons are alike or two families, the energy potentials are different. I think just watching crowds of people in movements can show how atoms behave and the different forces that are involved, it explains a whole lot in comparison to our planet, the moon, and our universe. Its not really so simple you know Strange, and yet it is, there is always a lesson to be learnt.

    Understanding quantum theory is really only theory, we understand some of what is said and the rest goes floating away. I have found other ways of looking at atoms especially water molecule, and some of it is confirmed by science. Do you understand everything you have read about quantum theory?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    OK for once we see it the same way. I am making the point that families are very simular, no two persons are alike or two families, the energy potentials are different. I think just watching crowds of people in movements can show how atoms behave and the different forces that are involved, it explains a whole lot in comparison to our planet, the moon, and our universe.
    The difference is that you are talking about general impressions while quantum mechanics is an extremely precise theory able to make accurate predictions.

    quantum theory is really only theory
    Don't say that. It will only annoy people. In science, "theory" is as close as we get to proving things. Quantum theory, in particular, has been tested and confirmed to ridiculous levels of accuracy.

    Do you understand everything you have read about quantum theory?
    Certainly not. The math is way over my head.
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    Understanding quantum theory is really only theory, we understand some of what is said and the rest goes floating away. I have found other ways of looking at atoms especially water molecule, and some of it is confirmed by science. Do you understand everything you have read about quantum theory?
    This is a very strange statement to me. You are simultaneously questioning one of the most accepted models of atomic physics and saying that you understand it so little that only the analogy of parents and children makes senese? I'm trying to avoid being judgemental but this post doesn't seem very...scientific.

    Not having a functioning understanding of quantum mechanics is not grounds for calling it into question, but that feels like what you are doing.

    Like Strange said, I'm not a physicist and by no means do I have a complete understanding of the quantum mechanical model.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    I understand it quite well, I am trying to find ways of looking at the problem rather than do nothing.
    Ah, but there's the problem. There's a saying, that it is better to know nothing than make crap up. Yet again that destroys the cause of scientific methodology. I'm not saying your analogy is total made-up crap. But you can't have this mentality that if you can't make actual progress, you just have to contribute something. This often leads to more confusion. I give analogies on topics I'm no expert in but only if I believe it will help someone and that I at least am familiar with the idea at hand.

    Because of the way you presented yourself, your statements seem kind of questionable. I'm just confused. What is the parental pull supposed to analogize in the mechanism of atomic structure? The electromagnetic force?

    Let science be science. Otherwise, we can just throw out whatever we want: Atoms are like rainbows, if you kick a mushroom, I shit toasters.

    Edit: Well this came off ruder than I thought it would be. Trying to be nice, changing words.
    Last edited by halorealm; August 4th, 2012 at 09:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    No, and this fluff does not beong in the Physics forum. You are testing the patience of the moderators.
    Why am I testing the patience of the moderator? I was tryng to give an analogy in an effort to participate in the discussion. Why do you take it so personal? It would be kind of nice if you would realise that this is the internet and this is a forum where one expresses themself to the best of their abilty taking into consideration that there are different people, different cultures, different languages, and so on. I think using this fourum should be an enjoyable experience and one should not always be on the defensive. The world is not going to end if my analogy is not understood, we just move on and learn.
    Because you continnue to post word salad psychobabble in the Physics forum, which is for real science.
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    All I got out of this thread was horrible images in my head of how warfare in the future will be :/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Understanding quantum theory is really only theory, we understand some of what is said and the rest goes floating away. I have found other ways of looking at atoms especially water molecule, and some of it is confirmed by science. Do you understand everything you have read about quantum theory?
    This is a very strange statement to me. You are simultaneously questioning one of the most accepted models of atomic physics and saying that you understand it so little that only the analogy of parents and children makes senese? I'm trying to avoid being judgemental but this post doesn't seem very...scientific.

    Not having a functioning understanding of quantum mechanics is not grounds for calling it into question, but that feels like what you are doing.

    Like Strange said, I'm not a physicist and by no means do I have a complete understanding of the quantum mechanical model.
    Science is the study of phenomena, is it not? therory is not based on physical evidence,or is it? Should I just accept your word because it is accepted? There are many ways of studying anything, my way of studying can be quite different although we might come up with the same results. Are humans like atoms/ Do they make bonds? Obviously you do not see comparisons or maybe you are too scientific to make such comparisons. Atoms are present in humans as they are in matter. It seems that there is paranoia out there when anyone querries science as if no one should. You could be way outside of what I know but you base your knowledge totaly on science while I do not. I am not against science but it is not always right. How would I know if I do not set up my own models to varify my observation? What part of quantum physics do you not undrstand, and if you do not know that how can you tell you are right with what you know? I am not using conventional science language I can understand it poses a problem especially when one has learnt from books.
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    Quote Originally Posted by halorealm View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    I understand it quite well, I am trying to find ways of looking at the problem rather than do nothing.
    Ah, but there's the problem. . Yet again that destroys the cause of scientific methodology. Because of the way you presented yourself, your statements seem kind of questionable. I'm just confused. What is the parental pull supposed to analogize in the mechanism of atomic structure? The electromagnetic force?

    Let science be science. Otherwise, we can just throw out whatever we want: Atoms are like rainbows, if you kick a mushroom, I shit toasters.

    Edit: Well this came off ruder than I thought it would be. Trying to be nice, changing words.

    I am not confused about the make up of the atom, I am more confused with some of your statements.

    "There's a saying, that it is better to know nothing than make crap up"

    I am wondering where you got this saying, because it is actually better to make up crap than to know nothing, making up crap is a starting point and can lead to something.

    "I'm not saying your analogy is total made-up crap. But you can't have this mentality that if you can't make actual progress, you just have to contribute something. This often leads to more confusion. I give analogies on topics I'm no expert in but only if I believe it will help someone and that I at least am familiar with the idea at hand."

    This sounds as if you are contradicting yourself.

    "I'm just confused. What is the parental pull supposed to analogize in the mechanism of atomic structure? The electromagnetic force?"

    The parental pull is like, the force that keeps the family together. gravitational pull (like the force that keeps us tied to the ground.) or like the force in the ceter of a hurricane.

    Edit: Well this came off ruder than I thought it would be. Trying to be nice, changing words.[/QUOTE]

    No problems, knowledge is also bliss, not only ignorance. I am grown up. I keep my cool inspite of the turbulence. We are still humans, I hope.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    Science is the study of phenomena, is it not? therory is not based on physical evidence,or is it? Should I just accept your word because it is accepted? There are many ways of studying anything, my way of studying can be quite different although we might come up with the same results. Are humans like atoms/ Do they make bonds? Obviously you do not see comparisons or maybe you are too scientific to make such comparisons. Atoms are present in humans as they are in matter. It seems that there is paranoia out there when anyone querries science as if no one should. You could be way outside of what I know but you base your knowledge totaly on science while I do not. I am not against science but it is not always right. How would I know if I do not set up my own models to varify my observation? What part of quantum physics do you not undrstand, and if you do not know that how can you tell you are right with what you know? I am not using conventional science language I can understand it poses a problem especially when one has learnt from books.
    I think I might be even more confused by this quote. You're saying the reason you're comparing quantum mechanics to parents and children is because you don't trust the work of the scientists who have developed the quantum mechanical model? While I believe we should all strive to learn as much as we can, there is no way you could progress through any scientific field without accepting the commonly used theories within that field. Quantum mechanics was not developed overnight by one guy working in his garage. It has been utilized by countless scientists who are all smarter than either one of us. If we can't put some faith in them, then what else do we do? I, for one, am not even in the realm of intelligence bordering the one where people are capable of coming up with atomic physics models. Yet, I have to use quantum mechanics in some of the mathematics and chemistry work that I do.

    Nothing personal, but I don't think a model which relates the physics of subatomic particles to a human family is a valid substitution simply because you think Dirac, Neumann, and many others might not have known what they were talking about. You're talking about a theory that has been around for nigh on a century, not some fledgling science upstart. To call it into question is to doubt everything we know about how the particles around us function. You can't just unweave (word?) the fabric of knowledge like that.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    All I got out of this thread was horrible images in my head of how warfare in the future will be :/
    I think that says more about you than anything in this thread .

    [Edit: sorry, not just you; I just re-read the OP!]
    Last edited by Strange; August 6th, 2012 at 04:56 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    Science is the study of phenomena, is it not? therory is not based on physical evidence,or is it? Should I just accept your word because it is accepted? There are many ways of studying anything, my way of studying can be quite different although we might come up with the same results. Are humans like atoms/ Do they make bonds? Obviously you do not see comparisons or maybe you are too scientific to make such comparisons. Atoms are present in humans as they are in matter. It seems that there is paranoia out there when anyone querries science as if no one should. You could be way outside of what I know but you base your knowledge totaly on science while I do not. I am not against science but it is not always right. How would I know if I do not set up my own models to varify my observation? What part of quantum physics do you not undrstand, and if you do not know that how can you tell you are right with what you know? I am not using conventional science language I can understand it poses a problem especially when one has learnt from books.
    I think I might be even more confused by this quote. You're saying the reason you're comparing quantum mechanics to parents and children is because you don't trust the work of the scientists who have developed the quantum mechanical model? While I believe we should all strive to learn as much as we can, there is no way you could progress through any scientific field without accepting the commonly used theories within that field. Quantum mechanics was not developed overnight by one guy working in his garage. It has been utilized by countless scientists who are all smarter than either one of us. If we can't put some faith in them, then what else do we do? I, for one, am not even in the realm of intelligence bordering the one where people are capable of coming up with atomic physics models. Yet, I have to use quantum mechanics in some of the mathematics and chemistry work that I do.

    Nothing personal, but I don't think a model which relates the physics of subatomic particles to a human family is a valid substitution simply because you think Dirac, Neumann, and many others might not have known what they were talking about. You're talking about a theory that has been around for nigh on a century, not some fledgling science upstart. To call it into question is to doubt everything we know about how the particles around us function. You can't just unweave (word?) the fabric of knowledge like that.
    Again I see you are not understanding that science can only be meaningful when I can understand it. In order for me to do that I must find ways of making my own judgment and observations or it means nothing. I use humans examples because all the elements that makes up life is within the human body. If we are atoms then we must behave like atoms. If the earth is magnetic then I must be magnetic too its that simply. Every one on the planet has to find a way to understand and explain to themself the way things work. You can't just throw your method in my face and tell me it exsisted 100 years ago. Life does not have an age tag. I am not saying quantum physics is not there, I am saying there are different methods of understanding the idea and using it. No one is smarter that me or you for that matter, there are people who knows more about a topic than me, and vers visa. I mentain quantum physics is based on theory one has to have a modell to observe how to understand and use it. There is always another way to do anything. You must understand that layers, and layers of quantum physics has been developed and covered over with time.

    Well yes, I question everything, science, religion, anything, that is how I can explain to myself how it works. Books cant help me to understand the physical manifestation of anything. It is so hard to know what the writer is thinking or even if he/she is understanding what they are writing. Many people write so many things and when you question what they wrote they themselves could not anticipate your question. If every body is reading from the same book I guess the results of that thinking will be the same.

    Dirac, Neumann only knew a part of what he was trying to get across to you, I am suggesting you take it from there and add your dollars and cents to it and make it more potent. Maybe you could teach him a thing or two if you would try instead of capitulating to every thing he wrote.

    I have a question for you, do you think the human is a replica of the universe?
    Last edited by Mother/father; August 6th, 2012 at 11:38 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    If we are atoms then we must behave like atoms.
    That makes no sense. Everything is made of atoms, but not everything behaves the same way. Atoms behave differently when combined into molecules.

    If the earth is magnetic then I must be magnetic too
    Why? That makes no sense either. The Earth is magnetic because it has a spinning core of molten iron. Do you?
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    I had this idea about electrons doing a kind of multi directional figure of eight around the nucleus due to negative positive polarity... or something.

    What force makes one atom bind or stick to another? bearing in mind that atoms are like minuture galaxies held together by energy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I had this idea about electrons doing a kind of multi directional figure of eight around the nucleus due to negative positive polarity... or something.
    well, some of the electron orbitals are dumbell shaped. The inner ones are spherical and those further out just get weird.

    What force makes one atom bind or stick to another? bearing in mind that atoms are like minuture galaxies held together by energy.
    To take a simple example and a greatly simplified description), sodium chloride (table salt) has atoms of sodium and chlorine. Sodium has an "available" electron (meaning that its outer shell only has 1 electron in) and chlorine has an available "gap" (its outermost shell has one less than the maximum number of electrons). So sodium "lends" an atom to chlorine. The sodium becomes positively charged and the chlorine becomes negatively charged. Therefore there is an attractive force between them which forms sodium chloride (NaCl). They can then combine with other NaCl molecules in a regular structure to form crystals of salt.

    If you ever study physical chemistry you will be able to look back at that description and laugh (and if you are studying physical chemistry you will need something to laugh about).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I had this idea about electrons doing a kind of multi directional figure of eight around the nucleus due to negative positive polarity... or something.
    well, some of the electron orbitals are dumbell shaped. The inner ones are spherical and those further out just get weird.

    What force makes one atom bind or stick to another? bearing in mind that atoms are like minuture galaxies held together by energy.
    To take a simple example and a greatly simplified description), sodium chloride (table salt) has atoms of sodium and chlorine. Sodium has an "available" electron (meaning that its outer shell only has 1 electron in) and chlorine has an available "gap" (its outermost shell has one less than the maximum number of electrons). So sodium "lends" an atom to chlorine. The sodium becomes positively charged and the chlorine becomes negatively charged. Therefore there is an attractive force between them which forms sodium chloride (NaCl). They can then combine with other NaCl molecules in a regular structure to form crystals of salt.

    If you ever study physical chemistry you will be able to look back at that description and laugh (and if you are studying physical chemistry you will need something to laugh about).
    Hahaaa!
    Ok and that would be a very weak bonding i presume, how about something strong like iron bars? what makes those atoms bind so tightly?

    Its amazing to think sodium will always have an spare electron and chlorine will always lack one,,, making them perfect companions in nature? almost like they were made for each other?
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Ok and that would be a very weak bonding i presume, how about something strong like iron bars?
    It's pretty strong. You couldn't pull a crystal of salt apart. But you could break it by hitting it. The thing about iron is that, in most forms, it is fairly ductile. This means you can't break it by hitting it.

    But if you want to understand why some materials are strong, or some conduct electricity and others don't, it gets much more complicated...

    Its amazing to think sodium will always have an spare electron and chlorine will always lack one,,, making them perfect companions in nature? almost like they were made for each other?
    But they are not a unique pairing. All the alkali metals (potassium, etc) are similar to sodium; and all the halogens (iodine, etc.) are similar to chlorine. Take a look at the periodic table to see why.

    And then there are all the other combinations you can make. For example, calcium has two "spare" electrons (again, see the periodic table to see why) and so is able to give an electron to two chlorine atoms and so calcium chloride is CaCl2.
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    "And then there are all the other combinations you can make. For example, calcium has two "spare" electrons (again, see the periodic table to see why) and so is able to give an electron to two chlorine atoms and so calcium chloride is CaCl2.[/QUOTE]

    does this electron variation have anything to do with the akaline/acid ph of soil. I beleive alkaline ph has more hydrogen ions is it? and acid PH has less... calcium being alkaline prevents the uptake of iron by plants so some plants cant stand lime.

    P.S sorry about highjacking the thread
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    does this electron variation have anything to do with the akaline/acid ph of soil. I beleive alkaline ph has more hydrogen ions is it? and acid PH has less... calcium being alkaline prevents the uptake of iron by plants so some plants cant stand lime.
    Yes it does. Elements at the left hand side of the periodic table tend to be alkaline and elements to the right tend to be acidic. I don't want to go further because (a) it gets complicated and (b) I can already hear chemists screaming...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    does this electron variation have anything to do with the akaline/acid ph of soil. I beleive alkaline ph has more hydrogen ions is it? and acid PH has less... calcium being alkaline prevents the uptake of iron by plants so some plants cant stand lime.
    Yes it does. Elements at the left hand side of the periodic table tend to be alkaline and elements to the right tend to be acidic. I don't want to go further because (a) it gets complicated and (b) I can already hear chemists screaming...
    I hear screaming and laughter everytime i make a post!
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    Hm, maybe your question should be rephrased. It isn't really a matter of what forces hold the atom together. We are not a bag of tightly wrapped rubber bands. Instead the different forces of nature all balance out. In essential there is only a few forces that keep up biological matter, and it changes as we go down in size.

    In order to correctly answer your question we must wonder just what the Human body is? Does it have any relevance in 0 K or 3000 K environments? No, cause the body would be dead. Instead the human body is something that is in equilibrium at around 310 Kelvin. Plus or take a few degrees. And everything we do with our bodies is done in this temperature range. Hence room temperature chemistry is what keeps us together. mostly liquids. Hence the forces that find equilibrium are all electromagnetic of nature. And the wide variety of these. But basically it is just a large set of different electric and magnetic fields arranged in such a way that we stay together. Science divides this up into a whole set in easy to understand sub fields, and forces that make it simple to understand. But the idea is all the same.

    Is it possible to disintegrate this? Sure, in a million ways. It will however always require a lot of energy. If you want to do the job properly.
    Other ways venture into the biological.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    Again I see you are not understanding that science can only be meaningful when I can understand it. In order for me to do that I must find ways of making my own judgment and observations or it means nothing. I use humans examples because all the elements that makes up life is within the human body. If we are atoms then we must behave like atoms. If the earth is magnetic then I must be magnetic too its that simply. Every one on the planet has to find a way to understand and explain to themself the way things work. You can't just throw your method in my face and tell me it exsisted 100 years ago. Life does not have an age tag. I am not saying quantum physics is not there, I am saying there are different methods of understanding the idea and using it. No one is smarter that me or you for that matter, there are people who knows more about a topic than me, and vers visa. I mentain quantum physics is based on theory one has to have a modell to observe how to understand and use it. There is always another way to do anything. You must understand that layers, and layers of quantum physics has been developed and covered over with time.

    Well yes, I question everything, science, religion, anything, that is how I can explain to myself how it works. Books cant help me to understand the physical manifestation of anything. It is so hard to know what the writer is thinking or even if he/she is understanding what they are writing. Many people write so many things and when you question what they wrote they themselves could not anticipate your question. If every body is reading from the same book I guess the results of that thinking will be the same.

    Dirac, Neumann only knew a part of what he was trying to get across to you, I am suggesting you take it from there and add your dollars and cents to it and make it more potent. Maybe you could teach him a thing or two if you would try instead of capitulating to every thing he wrote.

    I have a question for you, do you think the human is a replica of the universe?
    I'm responding to the bolded segments in order.

    First, I don't think you have to understand something for it to be meaningful to you. The laws of physics will rule your life regardless of your ability to understand them.

    Second, the idea that you and the Earth share the same properties is partly true and partly untrue. While we're made of the same elements as planetary bodies, we behave much differently. That is why there are different physics applied to different scales. The physics we used to know fell apart when you reached subatomic levels. While there is still no accepted unified theory, I think it is safe to say that it is not erroneous to believe objects can behave differently even though their particles may behave similarly.

    Third, I cannot add anything of significance to what modern physicists are doing. Even if I took my knowledge back to the fledgling days of quantum physics in the beginning of the last century, I would still not be able to add anything. Quite simply, these people have a capacity for visualizing the functions of particles that I lack. It's like suggesting that I go race in Formula 1 rather than just watch from the sidelines because that would somehow make it more meaningful to me. I just do not have that skill set.

    Finally, I'm only assuming I understand this question. You seem to be asking me if I believe the human form is a microcosm of the entirety of the universe. I would definitely say no. This is based on the idea that objects of different scales have different properties. If this is how you view the function of all objects in the universe, I would say you have a more philosophical approach to science to which I simply cannot relate.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    I am not confused about the make up of the atom, I am more confused with some of your statements.
    Well I am embarking on a long hiatus from this forum soon, so I hope to clear some things up.

    "There's a saying, that it is better to know nothing than make crap up"

    I am wondering where you got this saying, because it is actually better to make up crap than to know nothing, making up crap is a starting point and can lead to something.
    I realize this is a matter of opinion. You may freely believe so, but I mostly disagree. I do agree on one thing though, it does lead to something... misinformation, baseless "knowledge", and as a result, confusion. If we lived in ancient times, you would be the one believing in crazy creation myths, while I'll just stick with "I don't know". Instead of just conjuring up false and wild explanations, I'll stick to hypotheses based on actual observations and tried-and-true knowledge. But where were we? Oh right, the atomic analogy.

    "I'm not saying your analogy is total made-up crap. But you can't have this mentality that if you can't make actual progress, you just have to contribute something. This often leads to more confusion. I give analogies on topics I'm no expert in but only if I believe it will help someone and that I at least am familiar with the idea at hand."

    This sounds as if you are contradicting yourself.
    Where and how?

    "I'm just confused. What is the parental pull supposed to analogize in the mechanism of atomic structure? The electromagnetic force?"

    The parental pull is like, the force that keeps the family together. gravitational pull (like the force that keeps us tied to the ground.) or like the force in the ceter of a hurricane.
    Okay. Well, as far as I know, gravity plays a very insignificant role in the structure of an atom. The subatomic particles in an atom have very, very little mass. Not to mention, gravity is incredibly weak, especially when compared to the much stronger electromagnetic force, which really does the job. That's what you want to analogize, the electric interaction.

    I'm not sure what you mean by the force in the center of a hurricane, and I'm not sure it's all that relevant anyway.

    Edit: Well this came off ruder than I thought it would be. Trying to be nice, changing words.

    No problems, knowledge is also bliss, not only ignorance. I am grown up. I keep my cool inspite of the turbulence. We are still humans, I hope.
    I wish I could say that for myself. No problems here, at least.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerling View Post
    Hm, maybe your question should be rephrased. It isn't really a matter of what forces hold the atom together. We are not a bag of tightly wrapped rubber bands. Instead the different forces of nature all balance out. In essential there is only a few forces that keep up biological matter, and it changes as we go down in size.

    In order to correctly answer your question we must wonder just what the Human body is? Does it have any relevance in 0 K or 3000 K environments? No, cause the body would be dead. Instead the human body is something that is in equilibrium at around 310 Kelvin. Plus or take a few degrees. And everything we do with our bodies is done in this temperature range. Hence room temperature chemistry is what keeps us together. mostly liquids. Hence the forces that find equilibrium are all electromagnetic of nature. And the wide variety of these. But basically it is just a large set of different electric and magnetic fields arranged in such a way that we stay together. Science divides this up into a whole set in easy to understand sub fields, and forces that make it simple to understand. But the idea is all the same.

    Is it possible to disintegrate this? Sure, in a million ways. It will however always require a lot of energy. If you want to do the job properly.
    Other ways venture into the biological.
    But heating or freezing us wouldn't result in the effect I was talking about. That would result in a melting or ice freeze on a larger scale, right?

    I was asking what force(s) could be nullified to result in turning a person into disconnected atoms, like a powder; something that could (within the realm of remotely hypothetical science fiction, of course) break apart that person's molecular/atomic bonds. A disintegration weapon. Which of the million ways you mention would you use to accomplish this? So far, I think the best answer involves breaking apart the strong and electric forces.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    Again I see you are not understanding that science can only be meaningful when I can understand it. In order for me to do that I must find ways of making my own judgment and observations or it means nothing. I use humans examples because all the elements that makes up life is within the human body. If we are atoms then we must behave like atoms. If the earth is magnetic then I must be magnetic too its that simply. Every one on the planet has to find a way to understand and explain to themself the way things work. You can't just throw your method in my face and tell me it exsisted 100 years ago. Life does not have an age tag. I am not saying quantum physics is not there, I am saying there are different methods of understanding the idea and using it. No one is smarter that me or you for that matter, there are people who knows more about a topic than me, and vers visa. I mentain quantum physics is based on theory one has to have a modell to observe how to understand and use it. There is always another way to do anything. You must understand that layers, and layers of quantum physics has been developed and covered over with time.

    Well yes, I question everything, science, religion, anything, that is how I can explain to myself how it works. Books cant help me to understand the physical manifestation of anything. It is so hard to know what the writer is thinking or even if he/she is understanding what they are writing. Many people write so many things and when you question what they wrote they themselves could not anticipate your question. If every body is reading from the same book I guess the results of that thinking will be the same.

    Dirac, Neumann only knew a part of what he was trying to get across to you, I am suggesting you take it from there and add your dollars and cents to it and make it more potent. Maybe you could teach him a thing or two if you would try instead of capitulating to every thing he wrote.

    I have a question for you, do you think the human is a replica of the universe?
    I'm responding to the bolded segments in order.

    First, I don't think you have to understand something for it to be meaningful to you. The laws of physics will rule your life regardless of your ability to understand them.

    Second, the idea that you and the Earth share the same properties is partly true and partly untrue. While we're made of the same elements as planetary bodies, we behave much differently. That is why there are different physics applied to different scales. The physics we used to know fell apart when you reached subatomic levels. While there is still no accepted unified theory, I think it is safe to say that it is not erroneous to believe objects can behave differently even though their particles may behave similarly.

    Third, I cannot add anything of significance to what modern physicists are doing. Even if I took my knowledge back to the fledgling days of quantum physics in the beginning of the last century, I would still not be able to add anything. Quite simply, these people have a capacity for visualizing the functions of particles that I lack. It's like suggesting that I go race in Formula 1 rather than just watch from the sidelines because that would somehow make it more meaningful to me. I just do not have that skill set.

    Finally, I'm only assuming I understand this question. You seem to be asking me if I believe the human form is a microcosm of the entirety of the universe. I would definitely say no. This is based on the idea that objects of different scales have different properties. If this is how you view the function of all objects in the universe, I would say you have a more philosophical approach to science to which I simply cannot relate.
    First, I don't think you have to understand something for it to be meaningful to you. The laws of physics will rule your life regardless of your ability to understand them.

    If you do not understand its value the meaning is not very strong. Knowledge is power the more you know the more value. The more I know about physics and its laws the more I take control of my life.

    Second, the idea that you and the Earth share the same properties is partly true and partly untrue. While we're made of the same elements as planetary bodies, we behave much differently. That is why there are different physics applied to different scales. The physics we used to know fell apart when you reached subatomic levels. While there is still no accepted unified theory, I think it is safe to say that it is not erroneous to believe objects can behave differently even though their particles may behave similarly.

    Behave much differently to what? Why did the physics fall apart when it reached sub-atomic levels? If there is no accepted unified theory it is time we found one, or maybe it is not as easy as it looks.

    Third, I cannot add anything of significance to what modern physicists are doing. Even if I took my knowledge back to the fledgling days of quantum physics in the beginning of the last century, I would still not be able to add anything. Quite simply, these people have a capacity for visualizing the functions of particles that I lack. It's like suggesting that I go race in Formula 1 rather than just watch from the sidelines because that would somehow make it more meaningful to me. I just do not have that skill set.

    I am a little sad at what you are saying here because you are a part of whatever this is and we all have to contribute something. Just imagine the books you read were never written because the writers beleived they could contribute nothing to the benift of the human kind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
    I was asking what force(s) could be nullified to result in turning a person into disconnected atoms, like a powder; something that could (within the realm of remotely hypothetical science fiction, of course) break apart that person's molecular/atomic bonds. A disintegration weapon. Which of the million ways you mention would you use to accomplish this? So far, I think the best answer involves breaking apart the strong and electric forces.
    That isn't so simple. One cannot simply 'stop' the forces of nature. Basically what you are asking is the following. How do you disintegrate a person without shooting something mass like like fire, or toxin or bullets at them?

    Well, basically only light remains then, but for light interactions to do anything useful they should be so powerful that the humans would just burn. There are millions of ways to kill some. Practically none by light. It is probably most easy to induce sensory imput with a smart optical weapon that stops someone's heart from beating. Or one could resonate someone's molecules due to a plasma, but that isn't really anything different from 'shooting' someone.

    We have plenty of ways to kill one another. Sadly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    If you do not understand its value the meaning is not very strong. Knowledge is power the more you know the more value. The more I know about physics and its laws the more I take control of my life.

    Behave much differently to what? Why did the physics fall apart when it reached sub-atomic levels? If there is no accepted unified theory it is time we found one, or maybe it is not as easy as it looks.

    I am a little sad at what you are saying here because you are a part of whatever this is and we all have to contribute something. Just imagine the books you read were never written because the writers beleived they could contribute nothing to the benift of the human kind.
    I would argue that the knowledge of physics doesn't really gain you any control over them. Einstein was as much governed by the theories in which he worked as a toddler. I certainly agree that you should always strive to better understand the world around you. I don't think there is anyone with a sound argument against that.

    When you get into unified theory, it starts to go beyond my understanding of physics. Like many people, I have a general understanding, but I couldn't really teach the subject. Essentially, the forces which hold particles together (weak, strong, electromagnetic, gravitational) do not apply in the same way to bodies like planets. Gravitational force between molecules is the weakest force by many orders of magnitude. However, when applied to planetary bodies, electromagnetism cancels out because the bodies have the same number of protons and neutrons essentially. Gravitational force, however, cannot be cancelled out and thus becomes the most powerful force between celestial bodies. The basic laws governing the two scales are simply not the same.

    As to the final statement, I contribute in other areas. I like to think my ecological research is very important. The work I am doing is intended to save lives and provide a safe ecosystem for all the creatures on this planet. I'm also working on the relationship between future human habitation and the natural world. Knowing that I could have a hand in determining how we live moving forward is very important to me.

    That having been said, I have as much of an understanding of physics as I probably can without refocusing my goals in life. I find it wildly fascinating but too complex to casually learn. Even if I did refocus on physics, I don't think I have the mental programming required to understand it properly. Even some of the threads on here are over my head so much that I don't even know what questions to ask.

    I never define myself by my limitations, but failing to recognize them would simply be another limitation.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    [QUOTE=Kerling;343000]
    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
    I was asking what force(s) could be nullified to result in turning a person into disconnected atoms, like a powder; something that could (within the realm of remotely hypothetical science fiction, of course) break apart that person's molecular/atomic bonds. A disintegration weapon. Which of the million ways you mention would you use to accomplish this? So far, I think the best answer involves breaking apart the strong and electric forces.
    Antimatter would make any matter release all it energy in an instant... you'd have to stand well back. Antimmater cannot yet be produce cheap enough to make a feasible weapon out of it
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    Antimatter would make any matter release all it energy in an instant... you'd have to stand well back. Antimmater cannot yet be produce cheap enough to make a feasible weapon out of it
    Antimatter is a dream so far. Yes, it does hold the characteristics that are described required. But it is still just shooting some mass at someone. The main thing to understand here is that it is not possible to counteract inter-atomic forces without ruining the original characteristics of the system thermodynamically.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Antimatter would make any matter release all it energy in an instant... you'd have to stand well back. Antimmater cannot yet be produce cheap enough to make a feasible weapon out of it
    Hmmm... I searched for what you described and found this at nasa.gov:

    Some antimatter reactions produce blasts of high energy gamma rays. Gamma rays are like X-rays on steroids. They penetrate matter and break apart molecules in cells, so they are not healthy to be around.

    I also found this about gamma rays:

    Gamma rays are a type of high-frequency (short wavelength) electromagnetic (EM) radiation ... Gamma rays fall solidly into the ionizing radiation part of the EM spectrum, which means that they carry enough electricity to separate electrons from atoms or molecules. What this means is that a gamma ray can break apart molecules, and thus, in the human body, cause cellular damage.

    This seems consistent with the above answers referring to the electric force at the molecular level. And gamma rays seem to be a mechanism to be a plausible disintegration weapon, if I understand correctly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerling View Post

    Antimatter would make any matter release all it energy in an instant... you'd have to stand well back. Antimmater cannot yet be produce cheap enough to make a feasible weapon out of it
    Antimatter is a dream so far. Yes, it does hold the characteristics that are described required. But it is still just shooting some mass at someone. The main thing to understand here is that it is not possible to counteract inter-atomic forces without ruining the original characteristics of the system thermodynamically.
    Antimatter has been observed in laboratories... doing anything with it is a dream.

    It's never just shooting mass at somebody... it's also shooting energy. but it would be a destructive irreversably way to destroy/transmute/obliterate? the forces that hold the bodies atoms together.
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    Maybe sound cold break the atom apart.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    Maybe sound cold break the atom apart.
    resonant frequency and that kind of thing? the vibrations might not even be classified as sound. resonant frequency has been shown to be able to melt meltals... its not even the heat, its the vibrationary signiture which affects the atoms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    Maybe sound cold break the atom apart.
    resonant frequency and that kind of thing? the vibrations might not even be classified as sound. resonant frequency has been shown to be able to melt meltals... its not even the heat, its the vibrationary signiture which affects the atoms.
    yes, there are different components in all phenomenon, sometimes science goes a little distance and stops shor because of its capabilities, although the answers are all there.

    I tend to look for my answer close to me because I see my self as evidence of matter and life. I am no scientist and I am no more cleverer or stupid that anyone else. However I like to use my own brain and not what someone just tells me. The planet has three main forces I see most things around me like a law. I devide this law into two groups. The law of three, and the law of seven, all other laws are within the range of these laws. This is my way of looking at it, but we have to know knowledge is knowledge.


    The planet has three main laws, the law of mass, the law of centrifugal force, and the law of magnetism. If we can understand these laws right here on our planet we can venture to understand a little about the galaxy and universe.
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    It isn't a dream not, it is very much a real thing. But using it as a weapon, hell no. And besides, Anti-matter has the same mass as it's normal matter counterparts. So it is still shooting mass. Just slightly different. Also you cannot just undo the strong atomic force. I know of no way yet to induce such.
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