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Macroscopic properties of matter

  1. Jan 3, 2013 #1
    When do macroscopic properties of matter come into picture?
    When we consider 2 atoms, 20 atoms, 200 atoms or 200000000000… atoms? I hope I have conveyed my meaning?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2013 #2
    statistical effects already dominate at something like 1000 molecules... don't remember my stat mech too well though. it is pretty hard to make something with only a few hundred to a few thousand molecules and no more, no less. it is also hard to apply these to useful technologies.

    however for real materials, finite size confinement starts having effect at relatively easily observable length scales: 1-1000 nm.
  4. Jan 3, 2013 #3
    When you say macroscopic, do you mean classical behavior versus quantum? I've heard the bridge between these two comes in just about the Planck mass, which is roughly 10^-8 kg. You can split your atoms up any which way you want as far as I know, its not so much about the number of atoms as it is about the mass per ce. Incidently, the Planck mass is supposed to be the mass that would need to fit into one Planck length in order to create a black hole. Neat, huh?
  5. Jan 4, 2013 #4
    atom is very very hollow. But is nucleus also hollow that we can compress matter to the plank length?

    Can matter be compressed even more. i am talking about the singularity at the center of a black hole.

    What happens to protons and quarks there. Do they merge into each other or what?
  6. Jan 4, 2013 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    What DiracPool wrote is simply false. There can be an are much larger quantum states - the electrons in a metal, for example.
  7. Jan 4, 2013 #6
    I'm not sure which of the two points I made you are referring to as false, but here is the Wiki page I got my information from:


    If you were referring to the planck mass and the black hole, they wrote, "The Planck mass is approximately the mass of the Planck particle, a hypothetical minuscule black hole whose Schwarzschild radius equals the Planck length."

    If you were referring to the "macroscopic" comment, they wrote, "The Planck mass is an idealized mass thought to have special significance for quantum gravity when general relativity and the fundamentals of quantum physics become mutually important to describe mechanics."

    Both of these quotes are under the "Significance" of the planck mass section. Perhaps the confusion is what the OP meant by "macroscopic," but I think the OP was referring to it in the way I addressed it.
  8. Jan 4, 2013 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    DiracPool, there is no gravity of any sort in the OP's question, and the Planck mass is essentially expressing G in units of kilograms. It has nothing to do with his question.

    Unfortunately, his question doesn't have a well-defined answer. There is a field called mesoscopic physics that studies the transition from atoms to bulk materials, and there are not any sharp defining lines.
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