Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What happens to atoms if an object is hit?

  1. Dec 5, 2012 #1

    perplexabot

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    What happens to the atoms if an object is hit? If I hit my table, will it cause atoms to vibrate more?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2012 #2

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Short answer: Yes

    Your hit will produce sound waves, travelling trough the table. Some fraction will go to other objects (or the air), another fraction will be absorbed by the table (heating it a bit).
    Note that those are vibrations of many atoms relative to many other atoms, not a vibration of individual atoms.
     
  4. Dec 5, 2012 #3

    perplexabot

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Great. thanks for your help. now, if i go a step further and ask if this energy transferred to the object is able to make electrons reach the vacuum level (have the electrons completely leave the material)? what do you think, is that possible?
     
  5. Dec 5, 2012 #4

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't think you free many electrons with realistic setups. But some of them might leave the metal.
     
  6. Dec 5, 2012 #5

    perplexabot

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Do you think it is possible to create a device that is able to realize these stray electrons?
    In other words can you create an electron detector that would detect such electrons (the ones that leave the object) at a distance, or is this far fetched? This was my initial question, but I had to ask the previous two questions to set the question up right!
     
  7. Dec 6, 2012 #6

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    In a vacuum? Probably.
    Where is the point? You can just heat the object, this is a better method to produce free electrons.
     
  8. Dec 6, 2012 #7

    perplexabot

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    hmmm. well said
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: What happens to atoms if an object is hit?
  1. What happens to atoms? (Replies: 3)

Loading...