What happens to atoms if an object is hit?

perplexabot

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What happens to the atoms if an object is hit? If I hit my table, will it cause atoms to vibrate more?
 
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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.
 

perplexabot

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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?
 
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I don't think you free many electrons with realistic setups. But some of them might leave the metal.
 

perplexabot

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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!
 
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In a vacuum? Probably.
Where is the point? You can just heat the object, this is a better method to produce free electrons.
 

perplexabot

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hmmm. well said
 

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