The Empty Space in an Atom

A favourite analogy portrays the nucleus as a fly in the middle of a sports stadium. The nearest neighbouring nucleus is another fly, in the middle of an adjacent stadium. The electrons of each atom are buzzing about in orbit around their respective flies, smaller than the tiniest gnats, too small to be seen on the same scale as the flies. When we look at a solid lump of iron or rock, we are 'really' looking at what is almost entirely empty space. It looks and feels solid and opaque because our sensory systems and brains find it convenient to treat it as solid and opaque. It is convenient for the brain to represent a rock as solid because we can't walk through it. 'Solid' is our way of experiencing things that we can't walk through or fall through, because of the electromagnetic forces between atoms. 'Opaque' is the experience we have when light bounces off the surface of an object, and none of it goes through.


Our senses are not adapted to experience the empty space between atoms.

Folksonomies: wonder atom analogy model

/technology and computing/consumer electronics/tv and video equipment/projectors (0.681758)
/sports (0.499969)
/science/phyiscs/atomic physics (0.464537)

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sports stadium:FieldTerminology (0.774427 (neutral:0.000000))

Atom (0.957828): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Photon (0.948836): dbpedia | freebase
Greek loanwords (0.788592): dbpedia
Brain (0.770227): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Electric charge (0.743310): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Quantum mechanics (0.732946): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Force (0.729271): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Proton (0.718652): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Dawkins, Richard (2010-08-24), The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, Free Press, Retrieved on 2011-05-19
Folksonomies: evolution science


09 MAY 2012

 The Empty Space of the Atom

The Frightening Discovery of the Void in the Atom > Similarity > The Empty Space in an Atom
We are shocked and disturbed by the vast emptiness of matter, which we cannot see with our eyes or feel through other senses.
Folksonomies: atom senses emptiness
Folksonomies: atom senses emptiness


25 MAR 2013

 Science Reveals the World Beyond Our Senses

Microscopes, X-Rays, Telescopes, and other instruments reveal the hidden world we cannot see with our five senses. Science increases what we can know beyond our physical limitations.
Folksonomies: cognition senses prosthesis
Folksonomies: cognition senses prosthesis