Solid empty space?

by sambogrub
Tags: solid, space
 PF Gold P: 6,496 While I agree that all of the foregoing comments to the effect that our particle mass is not quite our total mass (because of binding energy) are correct statements, I think they are in this case an irrelevant side issue that detract from the fundamental incorrectness of Sambogrub's contention that they are "just a small fraction of our total mass". That statement is completely incorrect and I ask him again to say why he thinks it is correct.
 P: 8 I guess I was exaggerating a bit when I said a small fraction, but the answers given actually help a ton. I was talking about exactly what was stated earlier, that you have to take into account the energies in our atoms and molecules to find our total mass. I guess I have the definition of mass wrong as I have it in my head as something that has substance or is solid, which quarks and other subatomic particles are, from the little I know. So its not really true that all of our mass is in these particles but a portion is also in the energies holding everything together. And I really apprecite the answers. I sort of had the idea of it being light related that we cannot see through ourselves and also that we can interact with other objects because of the magnetic fields but this helps me know just a little more.
PF Gold
P: 6,496
 Quote by sambogrub I guess I was exaggerating a bit when I said a small fraction, but the answers given actually help a ton. I was talking about exactly what was stated earlier, that you have to take into account the energies in our atoms and molecules to find our total mass.
Agreed and had you stated is as that the matter was MISSING a tiny fraction of being the total mass instead of saying it IS a tiny fraction then I would have had no problem with your statement.

Just so we are clear, you were not "exaggerating a bit", you were WAY off.
 P: 1 Thank you! I'm trying to define mass from the atomic level up. We are just empty space interacting with other empty spaces right? I mean the Higgs field doesn't even give us mass really, it just slows down the subatomic particles enough to interact with each other and to be perceived. Adding up the mass of all our protons, neutrons, and electrons is just a small fraction of our total mass correct? So why is all that empty space able to interact with anything at all?
PF Gold
P: 6,496
 Quote by davidpotter Thank you! I'm trying to define mass from the atomic level up. We are just empty space interacting with other empty spaces right? I mean the Higgs field doesn't even give us mass really, it just slows down the subatomic particles enough to interact with each other and to be perceived. Adding up the mass of all our protons, neutrons, and electrons is just a small fraction of our total mass correct? So why is all that empty space able to interact with anything at all?
You seem to have missed the entire point of the responses in this thread. As has already been pointed out, you have it exactly backwards.

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