Notices
Results 1 to 32 of 32

Thread: So what are atoms made of?

  1. #1 So what are atoms made of? 
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    2,699
    I'm sure the subject line has a few people thinking, well duh didn't you learn this in high school? Well sure, but lets take it to the next level. What is the very building blocks of atoms made of? If it has mass it must be physical right? So if it's a physical object with mass, then what's it made of? It can't be just pure energy. I guess the obvious answer that some may give is matter. Well then what's matter made of? Atoms? Ok, so what are the atoms really made of? What is the nucleus of an atom really made of?

    Subatomic particles? Ok, so what are those made of.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman kestasjk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    74
    Strings apparently


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3 Re: So what are atoms made of? 
    j
    j is offline
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    431
    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    So if it's a physical object with mass, then what's it made of? It can't be just pure energy.
    Why not, and what is 'pure' energy?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    80
    Well.. what if it just so happens that it's interpreted as having mass because of our symbiotic relationship with the energy vibration of the atoms, being made of the stuff ourselves, it most likely is an energy interaction. Our interpretation of it and interaction with it ultimately makes it seem like 'material', being as we are on the same wave length with the interactions, so to us that defines and gives the illusion of solid matter.

    Aside from that.. what energy components would make up the atom? invisble ones as far as we can tell... again refering to scalar potentials, perhaps when these potentials interact the resulting interference energy is that of our percievable atom.
    "The present is theirs ; the future, for which I really work , is mine." Nikola Tesla
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5 Re: So what are atoms made of? 
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    1,628
    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    If it has mass it must be physical right? So if it's a physical object with mass, then what's it made of? It can't be just pure energy.
    Fraid it can, via E = mc<sup>2</sup> mass and energy are indistinguishable on this scale.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6 Re: So what are atoms made of? 
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    2,699
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarist
    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    If it has mass it must be physical right? So if it's a physical object with mass, then what's it made of? It can't be just pure energy.
    Fraid it can, via E = mc<sup>2</sup> mass and energy are indistinguishable on this scale.
    Ok, so what's energy made up of them? Something somewhere has to be solid. E = mc<sup>2</sup> appears to be the answer to all questions. Ohh and what color of light is that based on again?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7 Re: So what are atoms made of? 
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    1,628
    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    Ok, so what's energy made up of them? Something somewhere has to be solid.
    Well, energy is energy, what can one say? But what you would call solid actually refers to the strong forces (aka energy) that holds atoms together. The table your computor sits on is mostly empty "space", but the computor stays put because that force is many orders of magnitude greater than that of gravity.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8 Re: So what are atoms made of? 
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    2,699
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarist
    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    Ok, so what's energy made up of them? Something somewhere has to be solid.
    Well, energy is energy, what can one say? But what you would call solid actually refers to the strong forces (aka energy) that holds atoms together. The table your computor sits on is mostly empty "space", but the computor stays put because that force is many orders of magnitude greater than that of gravity.
    This would make it sound as if in order for everything to hold together a constant and powerful source of energy would be needed. That makes existence more of a device then anything else. It would almost be an electronic device or a program running.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9 Re: So what are atoms made of? 
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarist
    But what you would call solid actually refers to the strong forces (aka energy) that holds atoms together. The table your computor sits on is mostly empty "space", but the computor stays put because that force is many orders of magnitude greater than that of gravity.
    This is incorrect. The strong force holds the nucleus together. It is electromagnetic forces that are responsible for the apparent solidity of matter.
    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    Something somewhere has to be solid.
    Why?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10 Re: So what are atoms made of? 
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    1,628
    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    This would make it sound as if in order for everything to hold together a constant and powerful source of energy would be needed.
    Yes, indeed. Look at this way (I don't like it, but Newton did). Think of gravity as a force, directed toward the centre of Earth. Now ask, if an object on a table doesn't fall toward that centre, what's going on? Ask Newton again. Roughly transcribed...."to every force there is an equal and opposing force....."

    Meaning that, for your table to resist the force of gravity, it has to exert an opposing force in the opposite direction. That requires energy. Therefore your material table has energy, you might even say it is energy
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    80
    So what is the force at work? what is the engine that drives it, is it pure potential conjugating within vacuum to form the observable forces?.. the explaination of 'strong forces' and 'weak forces' dont give you much of an idea of the underlying process atall.

    Are these forces produced by underlying EM wave structure's, and if so.. If we were able to detect and recreate the underlying interactions would'nt we then be able to effectively engineer matter itself?. Are scalar EM waves what comprise this underlying process, if so then the atom is made of potential energy..the duality occurs when you have a human observer who is on the same wavelength as the energy interaction, to us it is physically solid because we can interact with it. at the same time its exist's as energy. its neither one nor the other.. its our particular perception situation that creates that.
    "The present is theirs ; the future, for which I really work , is mine." Nikola Tesla
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,521
    ok i'm sure this has holes in it somewhere so please enlighten me.

    energy a measure of the amount of work that can be done in a system.
    particles have a certain amount of energy which is used in the proccess of exchanging these force carrier particles which are aparently virtual.
    these force carriers interact in different ways and have different purposes so that the exchange of gluons holds atoms together, the exchange of photons has something to do with the EM force, again enlighten me. etc.

    as for what makes up matter i would have to say this elusive individual called spacetime which is aparently seething with energy and has a nature which we are still debating.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    651
    Quote Originally Posted by wallaby
    ok i'm sure this has holes in it somewhere so please enlighten me.

    energy a measure of the amount of work that can be done in a system.
    This statement is as poor as the statement that time is what a clock measures. Energy is more than a measure.

    particles have a certain amount of energy which is used in the proccess of exchanging these force carrier particles which are aparently virtual.
    This virtualosity is not so apparent to me.

    as for what makes up matter i would have to say this elusive individual called spacetime which is aparently seething with energy and has a nature which we are still debating.
    I agree that matter is a way to look at space-time, just as it energy. Of course the universe is seething with space-time, and you are correct that its nature is under fierce debate.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14 Re: So what are atoms made of? 
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    2,699
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarist
    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    This would make it sound as if in order for everything to hold together a constant and powerful source of energy would be needed.
    Yes, indeed. Look at this way (I don't like it, but Newton did). Think of gravity as a force, directed toward the centre of Earth. Now ask, if an object on a table doesn't fall toward that centre, what's going on? Ask Newton again. Roughly transcribed...."to every force there is an equal and opposing force....."

    Meaning that, for your table to resist the force of gravity, it has to exert an opposing force in the opposite direction. That requires energy. Therefore your material table has energy, you might even say it is energy
    This theory has a few holes in it, first stuff stays together in space outside of the gravitational forces of the earth. Second it would suggest that everything is in exact precise harmony and their is no chaos in the universe. The source of energy in an atom may bind them together, however I don't think gravity is required to keep anything in place or from falling apart.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Key West, Florida, Earth
    Posts
    4,788
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    Atom


    Mass: atomic mass
    Electric Charge: 0 C
    Diameter: 10pm to 100pm

    For alternative meanings see atom (disambiguation).
    An atom (Greek άτομον from ά: non and τομον: divisible) is a submicroscopic structure found in all ordinary matter around us. The word atom originally meant a smallest possible particle of matter, not further divisible. Later, those objects to which the name atom had been assigned were found to be further divisible into smaller subatomic particles, but the word atom nonetheless continues to refer to them. Atoms are canonically distinguished from ions by their balanced electrical charge. When this charge is disrupted, the particle is then considered to be an atomic ion rather than an atom.

    Most atoms are composed of 3 types of massive subatomic particles which govern their external properties:

    electrons, which have a negative charge;
    protons, which have a positive charge; and
    neutrons, which have no charge.


    Antimatter can form atoms, usually composed of antielectrons, antiprotons, and antineutrons.

    Atoms are the fundamental building blocks of chemistry, and are conserved in chemical reactions. Atoms can be classed into elements, which are a useful tool for predicting chemical reactivity.

    Elements have been artificially created by nuclear bombardment, but they are usually unstable and spontaneously change into stable natural chemical elements by the processes of radioactive decay.

    Atoms are able to bond into molecules and other types of chemical compounds. Molecules are made up of multiple atoms; for example, a molecule of water is a combination of 2 hydrogen and one oxygen atom.

    Because of their ubiquitous nature, atoms have been an important field of study for many centuries. Current research focuses on quantum effects, such as in Bose-Einstein condensate.







    Subatomic particles

    Modern particle physics research is focused on subatomic particles, which have less structure than atoms. These include atomic constituents such as electrons, protons, and neutrons (protons and neutrons are actually composite particles, made up of quarks), particles produced by radiative and scattering processes, such as photons, neutrinos, and muons, as well as a wide range of exotic particles.

    Strictly speaking, the term particle is something of a misnomer. The objects studied by particle physics obey the principles of quantum mechanics. As such, they exhibit wave-particle duality, displaying particle-like behavior under certain experimental conditions and wave-like behavior in others. Theoretically, they are described neither as waves nor as particles, but as state vectors in an abstract Hilbert space. For a more detailed explanation, see quantum field theory. Following the convention of particle physicists, we will use "elementary particles" to refer to objects such as electrons and photons, with the understanding that these "particles" display wave-like properties as well.

    All the particles observed to date have been catalogued in a quantum field theory called the Standard Model, which is often regarded as particle physics' best achievement to date. The model contains 47 species of elementary particles, some of which can combine to form composite particles, accounting for the hundreds of other species of particles discovered since the 1960s. The Standard Model has been found to agree with almost all the experimental tests conducted to date. However, most particle physicists believe that it is an incomplete description of Nature, and that a more fundamental theory awaits discovery. In recent years, measurements of neutrino mass have provided the first experimental deviations from the Standard Model.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    2,699
    Cosmic, some good info. Goes to show we still have a longs ways to go.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17 Re: So what are atoms made of? 
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    1,628
    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity

    This theory has a few holes in it, first stuff stays together in space outside of the gravitational forces of the earth.
    Of course it does! It has its own gravitational field. Earth is by no means the only gravitational source in the universe, far from it.
    Second it would suggest that everything is in exact precise harmony and their is no chaos in the universe.
    Why is that a problem? You prefer non-linear determinism to the linear variety?
    The source of energy in an atom may bind them together, however I don't think gravity is required to keep anything in place or from falling apart.
    Of course not!. Gravity doesn't bind atoms or their nuclei together.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Key West, Florida, Earth
    Posts
    4,788
    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    Cosmic, some good info. Goes to show we still have a longs ways to go.
    Not really for most of these particles are very short lived , less than one trillionth of a second or less. We can keep bombbarding particles with particles but I fear that all we are doing is creating new particles, not actually finding something that is already there.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Forum Bachelors Degree martillo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Uruguay
    Posts
    463
    What is the very building blocks of atoms made of? If it has mass it must be physical right? So if it's a physical object with mass, then what's it made of? It can't be just pure energy. I guess the obvious answer that some may give is matter. Well then what's matter made of? Atoms? Ok, so what are the atoms really made of? What is the nucleus of an atom really made of?
    The buildings blocks are protons, neutrons and electrons. I agree with cosmic_traveller that all the subatomic particles are new subparticles with very short lifetime created by bombarding the nucleus and so braking the protons and neutrons stable structures.

    But then, what are protons, neutrons and electrons made off?
    I believe they are all made by combinations of some more basic particles constituting a stable structure.

    But then, what could this elementary particles be made off? The subdivision must have an end! Yes, the end is that the elementary particles are sources of fields of forces. The most elementary thing in the Universe is a source of field of force! (Elementary does not implies simple).

    I have developed a new model of the elementary particles and how they can produce the stable structures for the proton. neutron, electron, photon and neutrino that can succesfully explain the "wave-like behavior" and all the quantum phenomena.
    Please take a look on Chapters Three and Four at:
    www.geocities.com/anewlightinphysics
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    80
    Do these imaginary elementary particles have a source..? where is the energy coming from still.. physics has long known that vaccum is active and local ST curvature's are energetic by their very nature.

    At the moment we can imagine these elementary particles interacting in this virtual state and try to calculate their interaction, but will it provide workable answer's to the source charge problem, can we then understand what force really is? will it provide a precursor to understanding howto engineer matter from the inside out? surely you have to detect something that can prove the existance of more subtle EM energies before you can really even try to quantify it, otherwise eventually it starts to turn into a string theory...

    Why not experiment and study scalar waves ( http://www.thescienceforum.com/Detec...Waves-923t.php ) before we even go making assumption's, scalar EM waves are a quantifiably more fundemental EM wave and can give us more clue's to whats driving the energies that give us our universe. Guess work is no good, unless it can be proven.
    "The present is theirs ; the future, for which I really work , is mine." Nikola Tesla
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by martillo
    Yes, the end is that the elementary particles are sources of fields of forces.
    What is a field of force and what is it made of?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarky
    Do these imaginary elementary particles have a source..?
    Of course, the imagination

    ---

    Ultimately, when we go deeper into the sub-atomic world, we discover that matter and energy consists of an illusion and the source of it is the observers mind
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Forum Bachelors Degree martillo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Uruguay
    Posts
    463
    Tjalian,

    What is a field of force and what is it made of?
    A field of a force is a function that gives the value, in every point of the space, of the force that can act over a particle if it exist at that point.

    A field is a mathematical abstraction, what is real is the force itself.

    You may ask then what generates them? Good question, I cannot answer it. What I know is that they exist and as you mentioned we need imagination to understand them.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    2,699
    I think when we can answer all of these questions down to the final (finite) building block or blocks then we will have a more true understanding of the universe as a whole. The problem is we may not be able to identify what is really behind our physical universe as it may be something outside our physical world and out of the grasp of both our minds and our instruments. The physical universe may be held together with non physical building blocks. This would actually stand to reason. So the laws of physics may not even apply to this realm.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    madrid
    Posts
    2
    (in) Sanity wrote.

    So what are atoms made of?


    Perhaps this page helps you.

    http://www.flat-universe.com

    Regards
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    In 1960 my chemistry teacher gave his definition of an atom as a hole, in a hole, through a hole, round a hole. Nothing that has emerged from partical and atomic physics in the last forty five years has seemed to me any clearer or more precise.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26 neutrons 
    Forum Freshman genep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    37
    atoms are just neutrons that can masquerade as anything the mind can imagine.
    Atoms are just the thoughts that physics calls its neutrons that make up everything in the universe to neutron stars and then black holes.

    To masquerade as anything and everything neutrons perform all sorts of impossibilities but only if they are not thoughts.
    For example:
    A neutron can split into a proton and electron that are simultaneously repelled and attracted to each other to form atoms... molecules with metals and non-metals.

    And all this is totally certain because it is all controlled by physics' only certainty: its Uncertainty Principle.
    Thoughts do not need an Uncertainty Principle and physics needs it because it does not know that particles are always waves and the observer determines the observation because the observer is the observation, that is the thoughts called the mind.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Forum Senior silkworm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    337
    Sounds like you had a better chemistry teacher than my first two, ophiolite.

    At the most elementary, all matter breaks down into energy. Essentially, all atoms are just energy that has aggragated into elementary particles then to subatomic particles then to atoms then to molecules and everything else that's common to us.

    Everything we use is a model, and only symbolic of our perception up to the point the model was put into affect. Take Bohr's atoms for example, it's 2D and only works for hydrogen but it was the best when he made it. Between the proton-neutron-electron level and the pure energy part is a tough place to study and probably an even more difficult place to model accurately because of how close it is to being the fundamental parts of everything, that's just a guess I've thought about though.

    What I'm trying to say there is the model is still very much a work in progress in that range.

    This has long been thought by many physicist and I heard that it was proven recently by using an accelerator that converted energy to matter at high velocities. I don't know about the specifics and if anyone knows about this please post it.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    If you believe in M-theory all of matter boils down to the interaction of the different vibrational modes of multidimentional objects called branes including the 1 dimensional strings in a 10 dimensional space time.

    However, by asking what things are ultimately made of, the question asked here goes beyond physics to a subject of metaphysics called Ontology. As a philosophy you may think what you like or take your pick of past philosophers but there are definitely implications from modern physics. Physics definitely seems to imply that everything is ultimately composed of energy. You say that it cannot just be energy and you are right in this sense. Energy is never just energy. For in saying that everything is energy, we highlight the sameness in everything and ignore the differences. The differences are in the fact that different things are different forms of energy. There is energy of motion, energy of mass, energy of light, energy of gravity, etc... For me this sounds a lot like the ontology of Aristotle who said that all things are matter and form. To modernized his idea we should substitute the word "energy" for "matter".

    In the physics concept of energy we find everything that Aristotle described as the substance of being. In fact it surpasses Aristotles' idea in that his description of matter was a bit inert and static, while energy is the not only the substance of things but also of actions. I do not think that Aristotle even dreamed that motion for example was a thing also composed of this universal substance which he described.

    As for Aristotles idea of form, well physics takes Aristotles rather obscure idea and makes it something much more precise and meaningful. The trend of physics over the last several centuries has been to describe phenomena with increasingly geometric ideas. Einstein's General theory of relativity was a major signpost on that path, describing the force of gravity purely in terms of the curvature of a 4 dimensional space-time. Kaluza and Klein showed that this could be expanded to include the electrical and magnetic forces in a 5 dimensional space-time. String theories described the increasing zoo of particles as vibrational modes of very small strings in a ten dimensional space-time. Finally M-theory united all the competing string theories into an even more geometric theory of multi-dimensional objects called branes of which the one dimensional strings are only one example. I envision that this will ultimately lead to a purely geometric theory like General relativity where all the forces and particles are described by the curvature and vibrations of a 10 dimentional (or there about) space-time.

    Thus physics gives Aristotle's idea of form a definite meaning in multi-dimensional geometry. But rather than separate isolated forms for different objects we see that in physics, all objects in the universe are merely portions of a single geometrical form.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29 the stuff that makes atoms 
    Forum Freshman genep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    37
    Atoms are made up of what everything else is made up of: thoughts.

    When suns and planets get big enough they collapse into neutron stars.

    So I assume that all atoms are the thoughts that physics calls neutrons that are just thoughts that can masquerade as anything the "collection of thoughts" called mind thinks it imagines -- be it physics' waves or particles, or probability-clouds or neutrons.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  31. #30 Re: the stuff that makes atoms 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by genep
    Atoms are made up of what everything else is made up of: thoughts.

    When suns and planets get big enough they collapse into neutron stars.

    So I assume that all atoms are the thoughts that physics calls neutrons that are just thoughts that can masquerade as anything the "collection of thoughts" called mind thinks it imagines -- be it physics' waves or particles, or probability-clouds or neutrons.
    I have a theory that this is the operational philosophy of a child with autism. The only things that exist to them are the events in their own head: thoughts, feelings and sensations. I am not implying that genep is autistic, only a hypocrit. He says (or implies) that he believes these things but he really doesn't. After all why is he posting on this forum when none of this really exists.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  32. #31  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,521
    an interesting question indeed.

    another interesting question being what happens when an entity is rendered unconcious and the thoughts are no longer there?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  33. #32 Re: So what are atoms made of? 
    Forum Senior
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    309
    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    Subatomic particles? Ok, so what are those made of.
    subatomic particles are made up of Quarks witch are made of strings.
    I don't suffer from insanity, i enjoy every minute of it

    the road to succes is never paved or clearly marked
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •