Do atoms exist in a vacuum?

  • Thread starter santhony
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  • #76
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For one thing I don't believe my question is straying away from my original topic of a vacuum. I believe it's going to the very heart of it. Sorry, but I find it hard to except something just because an authority says it's so, especially if it doesn't seem to be consistent, and hopefully you have a healthy dose of skepticism, yourself. Science was never meant to be a religion, and I would appreciate it if you would not treat as such. You are under no obligation to answer my question. And, apparently the fact that it is not an irrational question is betrayed by the fact that you have said, "I'm sick of saying this now."
Science is not a religion. No one is treating it as such.

The "authority" on this matter is science, worldwide science and the associated scientists - not the people on the street. There is absolutely no debate on what a vacuum consists of and the definition is consistent wherever you see it.

Vacuum has a scientifically accepted definition. That's the end of it.

Every dictionary has the same definition of a vacuum - what the people think is irrelevant. If the people don't understand a word then that is their problem. It doesn't make their use correct.

I'm sick of giving the definition. It isn't going to change and there's no debate on that matter. Vacuum describes an area with no matter in it.
 
  • #77
Matterwave
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I'm not even going to begin to say, I know much about physics. Just, that, I have an interest in learning. So, please, excuse my ignorance. If elementary particles take up no space, seeing all matter is made of elementary particles, wouldn't it go to reason, we would take up no space, either? In other words, no matter how many times you add up zero, it still equals zero.
I only brought up my point to try to get you to steer away from trying to consider length scales that are much smaller than the nucleus of an atom when considering the word "vacuum". Vacuum is operationally defined as a region of space that is devoid of matter. If we start looking too close at distance scales on par with the sizes of the particles which make up "matter", the word "vacuum" begins to lose it's meaning. In those scales, perhaps the word "space" is better.

P.S. No it doesn't mean macroscopic objects, which are made of many particles, take up no space. Even though the elementary particles have no finite spatial extent, we still have distances between these elementary particles, which has a meaning.
 
  • #78
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If there was a perfect vacuum, what effects would have? and would these change something in science?
 
  • #79
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If there was a perfect vacuum, what effects would have? and would these change something in science?
Given how close space is to a perfect vacuum (~1 hydrogen per metre cubed) it really wouldn't make much difference.

There would be no changes to science and no "effects".
 
  • #80
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Thanks to everyone who contributed to answering my question, "Do atoms exist in a vacuum?" I can see, now, using the standard definition of "vacuum", that, they do exist. In fact, they are in more places than I previously imagined.

However, my last question, for future reference, is, does a word exist that explains a space free of everything, including energy?
 
  • #81
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Thanks to everyone who contributed to answering my question, "Do atoms exist in a vacuum?" I can see, now, using the standard definition of "vacuum", that, they do exist. In fact, they are in more places than I previously imagined.
Note, atoms do exist in all vacuums because we can't get a perfect vacuum.

A perfect vacuum however contains no atoms.
However, my last question, for future reference, is, does a word exist that explains a space free of everything, including energy?
Not as far as I'm aware.
 

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