47 questions linked to/from What does it mean for two objects to "touch"?
7k views

### Is the electromagnetic force responsible for contact forces? [duplicate]

It is commonly stated that there are four fundamental forces, or interactions, in nature. It is natural to consider which of those is responsible for the normal force we meet in elementary physics. ...
• 243
1 vote
2k views

### Why can I put my hand through sand but not a table? [duplicate]

I've read in books that one can't put one's hand through a table because the table offers a "Normal Reaction" to the hand. And it is also stated that this force is electromagnetic in nature. But what ...
• 777
1 vote
2k views

### Do particles ever touch each other during a collision? [duplicate]

Do particles ever touch each other during a collision? My understanding is that they can get really close to each other but never actually touch, is that true? Another thing I've read about is, the ...
• 2,401
1 vote
623 views

### Which fundamental force acts while pushing a book on the table? [duplicate]

I know that this is a total novice question. When I push a book from point A to point B, a force is applied by me. The book has mass and some acceleration was also achieved in this example. I recently ...
531 views

### Normal force and Electrostatic Force [duplicate]

My book, in mechanics, claimed that the normal forces were actually a result of electromagnetic force and that the "hand of the strongest weightlifter will crumble under the weight of a feather" if ...
• 1,355
1 vote
312 views

### Pauli exclusion responsible for "solidity"? [duplicate]

I have heard Frank Close say that the reason you can't put your hand through a solid object is the Pauli exclusion principle. However Richard Feynman in his "Fun to Imagine" series attributes it to ...
1 vote
645 views

### Can we touch the atoms? [duplicate]

This question is basically a spin off from my friend's question - "What are we basically seeing? Is it the atom or the nucleus?" (He had referred to the huge amount of empty space inside the atoms). I ...
• 195
582 views

### If I touch an object, am I touching the atoms on its surface? [duplicate]

If I hit an object with a pen for example, does the pen touch the atoms on the surface of the object? Won't it damage the atoms? If I can't touch it, then where does the sound come from?
• 631
1 vote
283 views

### Since electron clouds of different atoms repel each other, does that mean that touch is the feeling of electromagnetic repulsion? [duplicate]

Also when we rest our hand on an object does that mean we are effectively levitating because of the repulsion of the electron clouds?
• 1,968
1 vote
402 views

### What is an object made of? [duplicate]

If object made of atoms and atoms are invisible then when we look at an object or touch an object what we see or feel?
146 views

### Why doesnt my fist go through the wall? [duplicate]

When I punch a wall, Why doesnt my fist go through instead of staying at rest on the wall? What is cancelling out the force of my punch?
76 views

### How close do two objects have to be to considered 'in contact'? [duplicate]

On a large scale, normal reaction force is supposed to occur when two objects come into contact. But how is contact defined here? If you have a book sitting on a table, how close do the particles that ...
• 205
1 vote
59 views

### What happens during the interaction of electromagnetic forces when two objects touch each other? [duplicate]

What does exactly happen during the interaction of the electromagnetic forces when two objects touch each other?
• 11
52 views

### Touching is a Pauli exclusion principle or electrostatic force? [duplicate]

According to quantum field theory touching is an electrostatic repulsion between electrons or the Pauli exclusion principle? How can physicists distinguish these two phenomena if they give the same ...