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The three m's

  1. Oct 23, 2006 #1

    sog

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    Matter, mass, and molecules. Does all three always exist together no matter how much energy there is? Do molecules exist inside all matter?

    I think molecules exist in all matter. I have been researching, but have not found anything conclusive. I drew that conclusion long ago in school.

    Someone is certain that steel has no molecules, but i have evidence it has and now they ran to that the carbides in steel have molecules. Now i have to prove that making steel does not cause molecules to go away or go out of existence. I also now have to pin down every element in steel to having molecules and if they do then for sure steel has molecules (this is so rediculous). If i can get convincing evidence it is in all matter or mass no matter what happens to it then that should satisfy everyone.
     
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  3. Oct 23, 2006 #2

    ZapperZ

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    Find out what is the definition of a "molecule" (not something you make up, but what is officially defined as a molecule). Now, use that definition and explain why you think an "electron" has a molecule in it dispite the Standard Model.

    Zz.
     
  4. Oct 23, 2006 #3

    sog

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    I already did that. That was not good enough, but i thought it was. Note: Websters dictionary
    molecule 1. the smallest particle of a substance that retains the properties of the substance and is composed of one or more atoms

    If i can prove atoms have to have molecules to exist (i don't think so) then i might have it.

    Now to equate substance and matter. I could not do that either without going unabridged (i doubt there also). Encycopedia doesn't help either. Electrons won't help, because then i will have to show that steel has (and this is absurd) electrons in the steels' atoms. The person has a Phd. in molecular physics. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Oct 23, 2006 #4

    rsk

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    I must have been labouring under a misunderstanding all these years, because I never knew that an electron was composed of one or more atoms.
     
  6. Oct 23, 2006 #5

    russ_watters

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    You misread, rsk - that was the definition of molecule. And maybe I'm missing it too, but I don't see the word "electron" in the OP....

    Simply put, sog, a "molecule" is composed of "atoms", and one ingredient in an atom is an "electron". Poor wording aside, the issue is spectacularly simple.
     
  7. Oct 23, 2006 #6

    russ_watters

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    More poor wording:
    The question is meaningless: A molecule is matter.
     
  8. Oct 23, 2006 #7

    Integral

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    To the OP.

    One of the first things you must do it drop your preconceptions. Do not try to fit the universe into a image that you have already drawn. OK, now that you have a brand new blank slate for understanding a molecule maybe you can make some headway.

    What is a molecule? According to your dictionary definition it is made up of atoms. What is not said is that these atoms are bound together by their electron structure in such away that they form an identifiable quantity of the material. An molecule of water consists of 2 hydrogen atoms bound to a single Oxygen. If you break apart the Oxygen and Hydrogen, you do not have water, but do have atoms of O and H.

    Now, let us consider elemental metals such as Gold, Silver, Iron, copper and Mercury. Do these materials have molecules? NO they do not, they are elemental and consist of single atoms of the material. In this type of material you can isolate single atoms each of which are identical. Remember your definition of a molecule; "composed of multiple atoms" clearly elemental metals do not consist of molecules. So you have to see that there are NO MOLECULES in elemental metals.

    Now on to another class of metals, Stainless Steel, sterling sliver, brass, and bronze are common examples of ALLOYS, these are mixtures of metals. BUT, there is no atomic level bonding, so you could use a pair of atomic tweezers and pick a single atom and ONLY a single atom of iron, or carbon, or nickle out of Stainless. Since you can identify and isolate the various components from the alloy and cannot isolate a group of multiple atoms which carries the properties of the alloy, it does NOT consist of molecules, again, there is NO atomic level bonding between the components so the smallest identifiable unit it is NOT" "composed of multiple atoms"

    So your efforts to prove that everything is made of molecules is fruitless, it is a bad assumption, do not waste any more time with that concept.
     
  9. Oct 23, 2006 #8

    sog

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    Ok. I have to pin it to steel. It was stated by the phd. in molecular physics: Steel has no molecules. He later stated: Carbides have molecules. Carbide is an element which you say have no molecules. Does steel have molecules existing outside the elements?
     
  10. Oct 23, 2006 #9

    ZapperZ

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    You're tripping over yourself. Look at your first statement:

    An "electron" is a "matter". It has mass! Now, you're telling me that an electron is made up of your definition of molecules, which are made up of "one or more atoms"? Considering that an atom is ITSELF made up of other things plus electrons, this is get very absurd.

    Zz.
     
  11. Oct 23, 2006 #10

    ZapperZ

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    You are asking the wrong person. You need to talk to a material scientist, not a "molecular physicist". If you open a solid state physics text, you can find out the crystal structure of steel.

    Zz.
     
  12. Oct 23, 2006 #11

    Integral

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    Steel is an alloy, there is NO molecule which defines steel. What you will find is atoms of carbon dispersed through the crystal lattice of Iron. There is no "typical" molecule with the properties of steel.
     
  13. Oct 23, 2006 #12

    sog

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    Forget electrons. Your're going way too small. I didn't get down to the atomic level. I never told you anything about electrons. What are you smoking? Your right it is getting absurd.

    I'll have to keep it to steel and it's elements. Steel is said to have molecules. Elements is said to not have any. Therefore a solid iron stove has no molecules I am led to believe.
     
  14. Oct 23, 2006 #13

    russ_watters

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    A molecule can be monoatomic, sog.

    What's the point of all this, anyway? Its just confusion over a definition/word usage.
     
  15. Oct 23, 2006 #14

    ZapperZ

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    You never did, but your DEFINITION of "matter" did! Maybe you need to rethink what you mean by "matter". Re-read the quote that I attributed to you. Do you deny writing such a thing?

    Think. Is hydrogen gas, which is H2, made up of molecules? After all, it is made up of JUST hydrogen. Does the fact that each of the gas consist of two IDENTICAL ATOMS attached to each other changes YOUR shortsighted definition of molecules? Now look who is the one doing the smoking?

    Zz.
     
  16. Oct 23, 2006 #15
    Steel does not have molecules in it. Why do you keep thinking that?
     
  17. Oct 23, 2006 #16

    sog

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    Apparantly there has to be a group of molecules to define steel.
     
  18. Oct 23, 2006 #17

    Doc Al

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  19. Oct 23, 2006 #18

    russ_watters

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    Interesting - there seems to be some disagreement as to whether the definition of "molecule" requires more than one atom, as implied in that thread and these definitions: http://www.answers.com/topic/molecule

    One thing, though: steel is a solid solution, so while depending on your definition, it may contain iron molecules and carbon molecules (or just atoms), "steel" isn't a molecule any more than "iced tea" is a molecule. It is just a solution of other molecules (or atoms).

    Regardless of what the consensus is, though, it doesn't seem like an important issue and doesn't seem all that critical for what the OP was asking (which was a jumbled mess).
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2006
  20. Oct 24, 2006 #19

    Gokul43201

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    Of those three terms, 'matter' is not a well-defined physical quantity. You may find the term used in pop-sci books or lower level texts, but never by itself in any physics publication. But for casual discussion, it's fair game to use the word 'matter' to describe really any kind of stuff.

    No. They exist only within molecular matter (hence, the name). In this kind of matter, all the chemical properties are manifested by a single unit identified such that the bonding energy between the atoms of the unit is large compared to interaction energies between neighboring units.

    Thus, for example, almost all gases and liquids are made of molecules (but not, for instance, mercury). Plasmas, and network/crystalline solids (like most metals) are NOT made up of molecules. When you break any of these things down to smaller and smaller bits, there will be a point where you will no longer see the properties of the collection being exhibited. At this point, however, you have something with millions of particles (atoms) in it, and does not satisfy the definition of molecule used above.

    Solids that are made of molecules are called molecular solids. Consider, for instance, a polymeric material. The average bonding of atoms within a polymer chain is much stronger than the average bonding strength between neighboring polymer chains. So, it's fair to call each of these polymer chains a single molecule. In molecular solids, the forces between molecules are typically dipole interactions, van der waals forces or hydrogen-bonds - these are all noticeably weaker than the covalent/ionic bonds that make up the molecule.

    Also, naturally, any part of an individual molecule itself can not be made up of molecules - this includes atoms and all subatomic particles.

    Now if you wish, you may include the atoms in say, Helium gas as molecules (the trivial case - monoatomic molecules) where you must extend the definition so that you now require that the interaction energy between units be small compared to the (electronic) energy levels (of importance) of a single unit.

    Now you know that's wrong.

    If you go back and apply the definition above, you'll see that steel is NOT made of molecules (of course, for that, you'll need to first understand what steel is). Carbides, nitrides, phosphides, sulfides, silicides and other such inclusions in steels are still not necessarily made of molecules. Yes, they are compounds, but they too are typically either crystalline inclusions, or one component of a solid solution, or are clusters. In all these cases, you can't say they are made of molecules. However, there are many cases where individual molecules of these compounds live within a grain boundary, somewhat loosely bonded to the surrounding material. But this only says that if you look hard, you may find some number of molecules of intermetallic or ceramic compounds inside steel - not that steel itself is made up of molecules (it isn't - the vast majority of it is a crystalline solid).

    Note also, that sometimes, scientists will loosely use the term molecule to describe a repeat unit in a crytalline solid. For instance, while salt consists of repeating units of NaCl, it is not a molecular solid, but one may "casually" say that it is made up of NaCl molecules. However, this is not strictly true of a chunk of salt. When the salt is dissolved in water, you can distinguish individual molecules, but when it crystallizes out, the molecules lose their identity and simply become repeat units of a larger collective (sort of like the Borg).

    As explained above, the elemental matter can not be made of molecules unless we are talking about a noble gas (where we use the trivial extension).
    In this case, the unequivocal answer is that you will not find evidence in support of the premise because the premise is flawed. All matter is not made up of molecules.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2006
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