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Do atoms age?

  1. Apr 14, 2012 #1
    Do atoms age??

    I ve read in many articles that most of the atoms which we see are made initially during big bang..And most of them concluded that atoms wont age..Is it true?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2012 #2
    Re: Do atoms age??

    Will you please clarify your question?What do you mean by "atoms wont age"?
  4. Apr 14, 2012 #3
    Re: Do atoms age??

    that means atom wont travel in time..the set of events which happen at quantum scale can,t be stated at what time they happen..I m not sure but kinda similar to that
  5. Apr 14, 2012 #4


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    Re: Do atoms age??

    What do you mean by "travel in time"? An atom which is present now will be present one minute later (unless it happens to decay or to undergo fusion or whatever), did it "travel in time"?

    A proton which was generated after the Big Bang and did not fuse with other atoms or got destroyed in other ways is still the same proton, without any ageing.
  6. Apr 14, 2012 #5


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    Re: Do atoms age??

    You might be confusing atoms with photons. Photons do not age in the sense that, in the "limit approximation" of the frame of rest of the photon, the space in the direction of travel is contracted to 0, so the photon reaches its destination instantly. It experiences no time between launch and collision. Atoms do experience time, and so they can decay if they are in an excited state or are radioactive. But a stable atom doesn't have anything to decay to, so it doesn't really matter if it's a billion years old.
  7. Apr 20, 2012 #6
    Re: Do atoms age??

    I guess I meant arrow of time which is not significant in atomic scale.Now my question modifies to why arrow of time becomes significant at higher scale..If entropy is ur answer,why entropy is not interested in quantum scales..? And where do this additional entropy come from..?
  8. Apr 20, 2012 #7


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    Re: Do atoms age??

    This is a VERY strange premise.

    Let's say you have a volume of water, in an adiabatically-insulated container. What is the change in entropy over time of that system? Since dQ/T is zero, there's no change in entropy, ya? Isn't this the same as your "atom"? Then are you claiming that the arrow of time is "not significant" for this volume of water as well? If yes, then why are we focusing ONLY on atoms? And haven't this falsified your argument that at higher scale, such a thing doesn't exist? After all, a volume of water is a significantly "higher scale" than an atom, no?

    {scratching head}

  9. Apr 20, 2012 #8


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    Re: Do atoms age??

    Atoms certainly do travel in time. Only their time scale is very tiny compared to our time scale. So in order to scale up you need something like drift in phase in a very large population of atoms or something like that.
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