Register to reply

Can atoms move from place to place without passing the space...

by soqrat
Tags: atoms, passing, space
Share this thread:
soqrat
#1
Mar23-14, 12:41 AM
P: 1
Hi.
thanks for the pretty place.

i want to ask: can atoms move from place to place without passing the space between them?
Phys.Org News Partner Astronomy news on Phys.org
Fermi satellite detects gamma-rays from exploding novae
Research finds numerous unknown jets from young stars and planetary nebulae
Image: Hubble serves a slice of stars
Drakkith
#2
Mar23-14, 01:46 AM
Mentor
Drakkith's Avatar
P: 11,620
That's... complicated.

The position of a particle is uncertain in between measurements, with its position dictated by the probability amplitude of its wavefunction. Even a stationary particle can be in one place during one measurement, and then be in another place during the next measurement. This can lead to the particle actually "tunneling" through a barrier that it shouldn't be able to pass through, a process known as quantum tunneling.

Then there's also the fact that fundamental particles are considered to be point particles, meaning they take up zero volume. Even so, atoms and their component particles still take up space. The question of how big a particle "really" is has no easy answer. Is it a point particle? Is it the size its wavefunction dictates (which is infinite in extent)? Does the particle travel through space to get to different locations in between measurements?

As far as I know none of these can be answered at this time.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Place to study electromagnetic space drives? Academic Guidance 2
Can there be a place in space where no gravity exists? Cosmology 6
Does Fine Structure Constant Vary From Place to Place? Astronomy & Astrophysics 13
How often do engineers/programmers move to a different place? Academic Guidance 0
Space: Is it a place? Or is it a physical entity? Astronomy & Astrophysics 20