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One atom in space what happens

  1. Aug 18, 2009 #1
    This question is something that's been bothering me for a long time, there has to be a probability in this universe where a single atom is/was floating in space alone without any light exciting it. Clearly there is no heat here, so does the atom approach absolute zero asymptotically? My question is what would happen to an atom and its quantum states if there was no heat or energy being supplied to it. Would eventually the quantum states breakdown or is an atom stable without bouncing off other atoms or receiving light?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2009 #2


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    If it is in its ground state, it would just stay in that state forever. If not, it would emit photons until it was in its ground state, and then stay in that state forever.
  4. Aug 18, 2009 #3
    i thought that was the case, thank you for clearing that up.
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