A nucleus made of protons and neutrons surrounded by a cloud of electrons equal in number to the protons.

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mirror nuclei: accounting for the difference in mass between nuclei

I was wondering if anyone here could guide me in the right direction with respect to the following problem: two nuclei are considered mirror nuclei if interchanging the neutrons and protons turns one ...
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2answers
5k views

Dumbed-down explanation how scientists know the number of atoms in the universe?

It is often quoted that the number of atoms in the universe is 10$^{70}$ or 10$^{80}$. How do scientists determine this number? And how accurate is it (how strong is the supporting evidences for ...
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2answers
98 views

Atoms in a piece of paper?

How many atoms are there in a common paper sheet? I mean, for example, in one of those we use for photocopies, numerically speaking, how many atoms in total? (Ten to the power of..?) And I'd like to ...
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3answers
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Is it possible that every single isotope is radioactive, and isotopes which we call stable are actually unstable but have an extremely long half-life?

I've read that tellurium-128 has an half-life of $2.2 \times 10^{24}$ years, much bigger than the age of the universe. So I've thought that maybe every single isotope of every single atom are ...
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27 views

What are the reactions that take place inside battery at the quantum level?

I was just studying about how a battery works on the internet and found out that there are reactions of chemicals which make the electrons move. But what exactly happens inside a battery (lets take a ...
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1answer
49 views

What are these wavish patterns around atoms on microscopic images?

This is an IBM movie about how they move single atoms: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSCX78-8-q0 There are often some "wavish" pattern around atoms on these pictures, like below some of them marked ...
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1answer
54 views

Can an Atom be negatively as well as positively charged simultaneously?

For example there are three atoms- atom A, atom B, atom C. Atom A has 3 electrons, atom B has 4 electrons and atom C has 2 electrons. If we bring together atom A and atom B, in this case atom A is ...
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2answers
57 views

How do atoms in a solid “communicate” force to each other?

What is the mechanism that carries and communicates force in a solid, on the atomic level? Is there some other mechanism besides atomic deformation and proximity? That is, if I had an infinitely ...
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1answer
45 views

Electricity should deform the conductor then why doesn't it?

In electric current both negative particles and positive particles flow but in opposite directions. So why doesn't the conductor's shape deform because its particles are moving here and there? OR is ...
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1answer
140 views

Why do the radii decrease when we move left to right in the periodic table?

The explanation that I have heard states that when we move horizontally across the periodic table, the number of electrons increases leading to a greater force of attraction from the nucleus. For ...
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41 views

Do the norms of the total and the orbital angular momentums commute? If yes, why is there a problem with 2p_{1/2}?

Question: For $\vec L$ the orbital angular momentum of an electron, $\bar S$ its spin, and $\vec J:=\vec L+\vec S$ the sum, do $\vec J^2$ and $\vec L^2$ commute? I assume it does: $[\vec J^2,\vec ...
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899 views

Small confusion related to leaving of electrons from atoms

Picking up a circuit board from a table, or our clothing rubbing as we walk, sit and work, are all examples of movement that can create static charge. One object, or surface, picks up additional ...
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3answers
70 views

How nuclear fission works in power plants? [closed]

As per the laws we are not able to see atoms (atom is microscopic). Then how does the nuclear fission works? *. In nuclear fission, splitting atoms is a exact calculation or probability(like we 1 ...
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1answer
64 views

If we cut an object in half and touch the two halves together, why do the bonds not reform automatically?

A friend recently posed this question to me: let us take an arbitrary object and cut it into two pieces (not necessarily equal in any way). If we touch the two pieces back together so the object ...
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1answer
5k views

Is it possible to “see” atoms?

As per my knowledge, atoms are small beyond our imaginations. But there is an image on Wikipedia that shows silicon atoms observed at the surface of silicon carbide crystals. The image: How can we ...
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4answers
502 views

Atom Theory vs Quantum Physics

This never really occurred to me until now, so maybe it does not categorize as a really important question, but, according to Quantum Mechanics, anything that is not observed exists as a probability ...
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1answer
165 views

Do electron shells exist within equipotential regions?

I had to read up on equipotential surfaces recently and I noticed the pattern of equipotential surfaces around a point charge. The idea came to me then that since no work is done in moving charges ...
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1answer
244 views

Electricity is the movement of electrons or ions?

Electricity is the movement of electrons from one atom to another or the movement of charged negative particles (ions)?
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2answers
1k views

Is Palladium an exception?

I have been taught in school that atoms cannot have more than 8 electrons in the outer shell. Palladium atom's electron configuration is 2,8,18,18. Why isn't it 2,8,18,17,1 like the case of Platinum ...
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29 views

What exactly is cutting with a knife will look like on the atomic scale? [duplicate]

Some times I like to view the world in the microscopic scale .ie. at this level all objects any thing will be collection of atoms which we normally don't view with our naked eye. At that scale I ...
4
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1answer
66 views

How can absorption spectra form if atoms can't remain in an excited state?

I have been tasked to write a research paper on stars. However, I know very little about physics in general. I am learning about how we can glean information about stars by analyzing the light that ...
3
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1answer
523 views

At what angle does a single atom “reflect” a single photon?

Does this question make sense in the quantum world? Imagining a single photon (wave packet?) interacting with a single atom (its electrons etc) how do we currently describe/define the emitted photon ...
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5answers
16k views

What does it mean for two objects to “touch”?

If you've ever been annoyingly poked by a geek, you might be familiar with the semi-nerdy obnoxious response of "I'm not actually touching you! The electrons in the atoms of my skin are just ...
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3answers
2k views

What is the quantum mechanical explanation of the octet rule?

What is the quantum mechanical explanation of the octet rule? In other words, what makes the octet rule be true from a quantum mechanical view? How we explain what makes some atoms don't follow the ...
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1answer
44 views

why is it that the photon incident on metastable state stimulates atom to go into ground state but not to even higher energy state?

isnt it possible that photon incident on atoms at metastable state goes to further high energy state rather than the ground state? whilist there is always that stimulated emisson taking place. why ?
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214 views

Why are atoms of the same element exactly the same?

Based on what we know about atomic structure all atoms have an electron density function which describes the uncertainty in the position of an electron. Thus theoretically 2 atoms of the same element ...
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1answer
112 views

Where does the energy within atoms come from?

Most kinds of energy I know about involve a finite measurement and are transferred. In other words, energy in the universe is finite and is not lost or gained but only transferred through space one ...
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1answer
121 views

In atoms, what is potential energy?

I was reading about how potential energy in atoms is measured by how far apart they are from one another. From what I have heard of potential energy, it's a way of showing how fast an object could ...
45
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5answers
5k views

What enables protons to give new properties to an atom every time one is added?

How does adding one more particle to the nucleus of an atom give that atom new properties? I can see how it changes it's mass, that's obvious... But how does it give that new atom different properties ...
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4answers
2k views

Is an electron/proton gun possible?

In the 1944 SF story “Off the Beam” by George O. Smith, an electron gun is constructed along the length of a spaceship. In order to avoid being constrained by a net charge imbalance, it is built to ...
3
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2answers
109 views

Why is Graphene So Strong?

There has been a lot of news about Graphene since its discovery in 2004. And as we are all told it is a revolutionary material which is very strong, conductive and transparent. But what is it about ...
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1answer
120 views

Why can't the electron enter the nucleus?

Actually, there exists an attractive force between an electron and the protons inside the nucleus, but the electron cannot be attracted towards the nucleus! What force balances that attractive force? ...
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2answers
1k views

Do we really not know why atoms 'decide' to produce a photon?

I was watching the Cosmos documentary where Neil deGrasse Tyson explained how certain energy photons get absorbed by an atom, which causes the electrons of that atom to climb into a higher energy ...
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41 views

What properties affect the color of item?

I already understand how gap bands work and how atoms can absorb/reflect light. I also already understand that rough objects will reflect light differently in comparison to smooth objects, but I do ...
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1answer
54 views

One color frequency items

I asked a slightly different question before, but how common are one color frequency items? Many things can reflect many colors of light, but predominantly show one under white light. If they are ...
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1answer
76 views

Why are some elemental materials grey?

How does grey occur in elemental materials such as metals? I believe that grey arises from the simultaneous reflection and absorption of all colors of the spectrum (in different atoms of course), as ...
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2answers
60 views

The Color White

How can something that is white reflect all colors? It would have to reflect all frequencies or at least blue green and red, correct? How can a two element compound, such as NaCl reflect all of these ...
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1answer
35 views

Reflections of objects of a particular color

How can any color reflect the color of light shone upon it? I tested this by shining different colors of light on different objects, and instead of becoming black, it reflected a hazier form of that ...
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4answers
3k views

What really cause light/photons to appear slower in media?

I know that if we solve the Maxwell equation, we will end up with the phase velocity of light being related to the permeability and the permittivity of the material. But this is not what I'm ...
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6answers
2k views

Why won't protons revolve around the nucleus containing electrons and neutrons?

In case of solar system,we can explain "Why Sun would not revolve around any other planet?",by giving the reason that Sun is heavier than any other planets. Heavier the body,greater will be the ...
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2answers
944 views

What really is the smallest “mass” or “object” in the universe?

Look at this here. With respect to the sciences, the atom is obviously not the smallest piece of mass. Apparently, if people have already broken down the atom in to particles smaller than so, why ...
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1answer
110 views

How can we prove that the shape of atom is spherical? [closed]

i am looking for a derivation that can prove that the shape of an atom is spherical . I experimentally proved this statement but i need a theoretical way.
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2answers
1k views

Why is Graphene Transparent?

Graphene is always in the news now a days and its key features are that it is; very strong, conductive and transparent. It is so transparent that each layer of graphene will only absorb 2% of Light ...
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1answer
43 views

photon absorption and emission

I was reading a book (Sears Zemansky) about this subject but I didn't understand something of an example, and this is that according to me there should be a process of emission for each of absorption ...
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2answers
111 views

Why are atoms empty so much?

To clarify: My question is not Why are atoms empty?, my question is Why are they empty so much? The classical orbit of an atom, roundly speaking, is where the probability to find an electron is ...
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1answer
102 views

How are atoms entangled, and can it be done remotely?

First of all, how exactly do you entangle two atoms? I've heard about how they entangled atoms in quantum Teleportation experiments, but I don't get how they did it. I've heard that the atoms must ...
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1answer
93 views

Angular momentum Bohr's model

I have been trying to derive speed, radius etc. in hydrogen atom using Bohr's postulates and not neglecting the coulombic attraction on proton. I know that they will be revolving around their centre ...
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1answer
28 views

Why Nitrides have internal polarization?

Why GaN has internal polarization? I know that in wurtzite crystal structure, the atomistic bonds are not equivalent and as a result there appears a net dipole and consequently a polarization. But ...
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1answer
164 views

J.J. Thomson's cathode ray tube: Why does the magnetic field bend the cathode ray downward?

The cathode ray is bent upward toward the plate by electric field and downward by the magnetic field. The first part isn't what I am confused about. However, the second part is. How did the ...
4
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1answer
532 views

What are independent parameters in Hellmann–Feynman theorem?

A typical example in textbooks about the application of Hellmann–Feynman theorem is calculating $\left\langle\frac{1}{r^2}\right\rangle$ in hydrogen-like atoms. Wikipedia has a nice demonstration of ...