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Questions about Atoms

  1. Jul 16, 2011 #1
    Are there ever atoms being added to the universe? If not could we in the future be able to follow an atom through several different changes that it might experience?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2011 #2

    DaveC426913

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    In stars, simpler atoms are fused into more complex atoms eg. H fuses into He and heavier elements - but we have all the matter we're ever gonig to have.

    Uh sure. Why not?
     
  4. Jul 16, 2011 #3
    What would be the implications of tracking an atom what could that prove?
     
  5. Jul 16, 2011 #4

    DaveC426913

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    What do you mean 'tracking' it? How about you stick it in a box and observe it?

    There are some preconceptions you have about this that I'm not following.

    What would you like to know about an atom, and why do you think it would be difficult to observe it? (Beyond the mundane difficulty of observing single atoms).
     
  6. Jul 16, 2011 #5
    By tracking i mean for the life of the atom. You said that all of the atoms that will be are here, that means that atoms are very old and they have been through many changes in their lifetime. I guess im just curious about the history of atoms and how they have stayed the same essentially since the beginning of time. Very durable little things
     
  7. Jul 16, 2011 #6

    DaveC426913

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    Not quite.

    Hydrogen was the only atom initially created. Stars fused them into He, Li and a few other light elements. Billions of years later, those lighter elements were fused in other stars into heavier and heavier elements. Elements heavier than iron are formed, but tend to be unstable and will fission back to lighter elements.

    Also, atoms are gaining & losing neutrons regularly, creating other isotopes. Same atom, but not the same.
     
  8. Jul 16, 2011 #7
    If everything was mostly hydrogen in the beginning then wouldn't the universe have condensed instead of expanded as protons and nuetrons came together making more massive elements? Just wondering
     
  9. Jul 17, 2011 #8

    Drakkith

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    The universe did and is still expanding. Very large clouds of Hydrogen and Helium (on the order of multi-light year diameters) collapsed and formed stars and these stars along with even bigger clouds of gas formed galaxies a few million to a few billion years after the big bang.
     
  10. Jul 17, 2011 #9

    Ryan_m_b

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    Two atoms of the same type are exactly the same. There's no difference between two carbon-14 atoms for example.

    It's also not possible to track where an atom has been, we can use some technologies like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_force_microscopy" [Broken] and it's variants to observe individual atoms but we cannot track an atom just whizzing around the universe.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  11. Jul 17, 2011 #10
    Ok so we could never track an atom so we would never know what that might tell us about the exact interaction it has as it moves about the universe. Thank you Dave for educating me on the beginning of the universe and how the first elements may have came together. Do we know how the atoms of the universe started over all, would the religous view be the easiest way to explain that? Because Dave says that the initial element was hydrogen but how did that atom begin, Where did the material that makes the universe come from!?
     
  12. Jul 17, 2011 #11

    Ryan_m_b

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    Religious explanations are never better than those based on evidence. Guessing the answer with no evidence is not an answer!!!!

    If you want to learn more start http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang" [Broken] and work your way up. If something is not yet understood my science it is an unknown and we shouldn't feel so insecure that we should just believe any explanation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  13. Jul 17, 2011 #12
    So then how does something come from nothing? How was the Universe just here? If i wanted to study this as a career what field would i go into?
     
  14. Jul 17, 2011 #13

    DaveC426913

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Big_Bang" [Broken] is good too.
    If you read up to Nucleosynthesis and Recombnation, you will see how the first atoms came about.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  15. Jul 17, 2011 #14
    Thank you for giving me a starting point!
     
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