1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Voids inside atoms and voids in space?

  1. Jun 12, 2014 #1
    New to this blogging, forum internet stuff so bare with me.
    Does anyone know if there is a similarity between the empty space separating the nucleus from the electron cloud of an atom, and the empty space found in the vast expanse of the inter galactic voids. The statement "Matter is composed mostly of empty space" implies they are the same. Is there anything special about this 'atomic void'
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 12, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    What do you mean by "the same"? What characteristics did you have in mind when you are comparing them?

    "Space" is space. Why would the space be any different? Granted, at some length scale, QM may have something to say about our ability to define what we mean by a "length", so the concept of "space" may require rethinking. However, based on our current understanding, and the formalism of the physics that we have used to describe atoms and celestial bodies, there is no difference.

  4. Jun 12, 2014 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Note that the popular idea of atoms being made up mostly of empty space is actually much more complicated than it appears. I know we had a thread on it recently, so a forum search may be useful.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook