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-   -   Question: Can elements above iron actually be clusters of smaller elements? (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=503562)

material Jun2-11 01:29 AM

Question: Can elements above iron actually be clusters of smaller elements?
 
Hello,

I would like to ask if elements of higher atomic number than iron might actually be clusters made up of smaller elements? Is there any evidence that rules out this possibility? The reason I am guessing that elements below iron are discrete is because of the theory that iron has its particles tightly bound and that energy can't be extracted from it by fusion or fission. The sun might produce all those other elements with fusion by the time it reached the stage of iron production. Maybe fission really is a process of knocking out a member of the cluster of lighter elements that make up the heavier element. Just throwing it out there.

zhermes Jun2-11 12:55 PM

Re: Question: Can elements above iron actually be clusters of smaller elements?
 
That's a very interesting idea, and I think a good one. But there is evidence that strongly implies it isn't the case.

A google search for radii of the elements will show a progression consistent with the standard theory, and additionally the binding energies are also well explained by the traditional all-elements premise.

The only way what you're suggesting would be possible is if the substituent 'elements' were so close together that there would be no difference between your theory and the currently accepted one.

I hope that makes sense. Keep questioning!

Vanadium 50 Jun2-11 03:02 PM

Re: Question: Can elements above iron actually be clusters of smaller elements?
 
The problem with that theory is that there are already compounds with the same configurations you want to ascribe to elements.

material Jun5-11 01:50 AM

Re: Question: Can elements above iron actually be clusters of smaller elements?
 
I have read on the internet about superatoms and wondered whether heavier elements like gold, silver and others were actually superatoms. I don't believe they are, but it would be nice if they were because then a new enlightened form of alchemy might appear achievable. For instance, it would be great to make more gallium for semiconductor applications and more platinum for fuel cell applications.


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