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Atom in Curved Spacetime

  1. Mar 3, 2009 #1
    Has anybody ever considered the effects of curved spacetime on an atom? I know that an atom is subject to QM, but it still is significantly larger than the Plank scale, so would the standard formulas of GM still apply? I also know that in the small vicinity of an atom, spacetime is basically flat, even in spacetimes that are drasticaly curved. So should the effects of GM be felt on an atom only in extreme cases, such as near a singularity?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2009 #2
    gravity is so much smaller than electromagnetic forces that in many situations it is ignored...as in electron -proton attraction, for example, or fission/fusion, and so forth.

    On the other hand, once a hydrogen atom is formed, for example, the formation of galaxies begins with gravitational attraction of widely dispersed gas atoms and in the clumping of these atoms, gravity is crucial.

    Another interesting effect of gravity regards entropy...as time passess entropy, disorder, genberally increases. Yet the overwhelming movement towards disorder does not mean planets,stars, galaxies can't form from gravitational attraction...even plants,animals and humans evolve!!! so from an initially diffuse cloud of hydrogen gas, entropy decrease through the formation of such orderly 'clumps" turns out to be more than offset by the heat generated as such atoms compress and eventually in the enormous heat and light energy released when nuclear processes commence. Eventually life evolves where conditions permit.
  4. Mar 3, 2009 #3
    There are unsolved problems regarding fundamental particles and curved space-time, for example that if you try writing their metric (given the angular momentum) you may find a big uncensored loop singularity.
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