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Two atoms and speed of sound ?

  1. Oct 13, 2012 #1
    How fast is speed of signal between 2 atoms ?
    Is it speed of light in electric field and then it slows down to speed of sound at more massive nucleus (p=mv) ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2012 #2

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    Any change in the force is transmitted at the speed of light, however it takes time for the other atom to react and move. It's hard to assign a value to just two atoms. It's more like a simple collision than a sound wave in that case.
     
  4. Oct 16, 2012 #3
    Is it momentum (mass of nucleus) , energy of bonds or something else that causes deceleration on fundamental level ?

    tnx for answer :D
     
  5. Oct 16, 2012 #4

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    Acceleration (which includes deceleration) is caused by the application of a force. The mass of an object determines its inertia, its resistance to changes in its motion. IE its resistance to acceleration. Higher mass objects take more force to achieve the same acceleration as lower mass objects.

    The speed of sound in a material is probably a complicated scenario. Not only do we have to consider the different masses of different elements in different materials, things like how rigid an object is, how its atomic/molecular bonds work, and a dozen other things must be taken into account. It is not an easy answer.
     
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