Saturday, March 12, 2016

You sir, are an airhead!

"With atoms being mostly air, everything should just crumble and fall apart. But they don't."

There! How is that for name calling! However, before you get too torqued off at me, let me also say this. I too, am an airhead. In fact, everyone on this planet is an airhead. And by the way, this also has nothing to do with Airhead Candy. What gives me the right to say that? Quantum physics if you believe in all of that.

We all remember from high school that when you get down to the lowest denominator of matter, you are left with the lonely old atom. And atoms are indeed small. And all of us and everything is made up of some kind of atom. Well one of the studies of quantum physics is to understand what binds atoms together. For example, let's take a simple atom like hydrogen. It has a small nucleus and one electron. Now if pretended that the nucleus was the size of a basketball, the electron would circle it from a distance of two miles. In other words, that is a whole bunch of air in between the two! 

You take the most dense and heavy material known to man and you would still be stuck with mostly air. And that is where the rub is. It makes no sense. With atoms being mostly air, everything should just crumble and fall apart. But they don't. And right now, scientists are endeavoring to find out the "why". And many think it has to do with this stuff called "dark matter".

And what exactly is "dark matter"? If I knew the answer to that question, I would not be blogging - I would be getting ready to receive my Nobel Prize. Some quantum physicists believe the universe is chock full of dark matter. But trying to come up a definite answer to something that cannot be seen nor touched is heady stuff. Everytime I think about it, my head starts to spin.

Speaking of heads, back to my first premise. About all of us being airheads. Our heads are mostly air. Just like everything else. Knowing that, I think with this growing field of science, many interesting and maybe Earth shaking discoveries are going to happen in the near future. These discoveries might be very important keys to unlock the "how" and "why" of our universe.

No comments:

Post a Comment