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Thread: Can you pull atoms from matter apart?

  1. #1 Can you pull atoms from matter apart? 
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    Madmonk, you stay out of this...


    I was wondering if it would be possible for anyone, not just me, to take any form of matter and some how pull small amounts of atoms away from the source? I think that if you took one atom away from it it would just collapse, but I have no math on hand for this exactly. So I wonder if anyone has read anything about this or has any thoughts to add?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Masters Degree bit4bit's Avatar
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    Well, I don't think that removing a single atom from a lump of material (assuming we are talking about a solid) would cause it to 'collapse'. If you remove a single atom from it, the remaining chemical bonds are still in tact, and hold the material together. Maybe one or two chemical bonds in the immediate vicintiy of the atom would be affected slighlty when the atom left, but the global structure would be untouched.

    I also think that chemical reactions are a good example of splitting atoms 'off of a material' (There might be more examples). Depending on what you mean by "collapse", then a material melting might be a good enough example, since the solid material has lost its rigidity. Then again, melting isn't caused by stripping atoms away from a material, but rather giving it energy.


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  4. #3  
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    Precisely how I see it. You wouldn't be separating it by force (hopefully), you'd be separating it by giving it enough energy to sustain itself independently. Surely it's unlikely for it to collapse anyway.

    Having said that, it's barely at all my field and the above is based upon logic.
    Just to be clear - I'm a student in IT. I am not a scientist, or trained philosopher, I'm just trying to portray my ideas.
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