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?

  1. Jan 27, 2005 #1
    Where do atoms go after they have been destroyed for use of the atom bomb, or anything else that destroys atoms. Does the things that make up an atom disaper or form another atom.
    thanks,
    quantumgenius
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2005 #2

    mathman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The nucleus of an Uranium atom in an atomic bomb breaks up into several parts, two lighter nuclei plus some left over neutrons. All the particles that make up the original nucleus (protons and neutrons) survive as parts of the residual parts. The electrons from the original atom get blown off, but they also survive.
     
  4. Jan 29, 2005 #3
    Note: Free neutrons decay after about 15 minutes of proper time.

    Pete
     
  5. Jan 29, 2005 #4

    mathman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The neutrons decay as well as the other fission products. However, baryon number (protons + neutrons) stays the same.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?