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What's inbetween an atom's nucleus and electrons?

  1. Apr 23, 2008 #1
    If every thing's made up of atoms then that means air's made of atoms too so there can't be air between an atom's nucleus and electron so what is there? Nothing?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2008 #2
    Great question. You're right, nothing (to our knowledge).
    Empty space makes up 99.9% (or more) of matter... and matter itself makes up a ridiculously small portion of the universe...
    At the same time i should point out that the bohr model isn't exactly accurate (i.e. electrons don't circule around the nucleus like planets around the sun). Electrons aren't at any one place at any particular time, they can only be described by what region they will most likely be in at a particular time. So in a way, this "empty space" is a region where there might be electrons (though very unlikely -> especially far away).
  4. Apr 23, 2008 #3
    Thank you, that's been bugging me and now I know :)
  5. May 5, 2008 #4
    One question left... what method we use to measure the position of electron around the nucleus. See, the problem now is I'm starting to doubt how we conclude things... or should I say what is the extent of the experiment. Just like the double split experiment show interfearance pattern, but when we observe it, the patter go away. Turn out that cause by the device we use to observe. "That's the story I got".
  6. Nov 19, 2008 #5
    How can nothing be in the space that could hold an electron, but doesnt?

    Space is quite literally just space. It's nothing. Because there is truely nothing in space, it is a vacuum.

    If nothing was inbetween the electrons, wouldn't they aswell be a vacuum?
  7. Nov 20, 2008 #6

    There are probabilities for where the electron will be located at any given moment. Take hydrogen for example, which only has one electron. Arbitrarily, let's say there's a 90% chance that the electron will reside in the first energy shell. That means that there's a 10% chance that the electron will not be in that shell and thus it will be completely empty space.

    As to your second question, I'm slightly confused as to what you mean. Just because that their is empty space between one electron and another electron doesn't mean that the electrons themselves are vacuums. Similarly, just because a jar encompasses a vacuum doesn't mean that the jar itself is a vacuum.
  8. Nov 20, 2008 #7
    i was referring to the empty space between the electrons. when i picture empty space, i picture a vacuum. would the empty spaces be microscopic vacuums?

    sorry for the poorly worded question
  9. Nov 21, 2008 #8
    Well...a vacuum is defined as a space that contains absolutely no matter. There will be next to no matter in the space between electrons, but there will always be neutrinos traveling through that space which are tiny particles (but still have mass).
  10. Nov 21, 2008 #9
    Well may be some of you say nothing is there between an atom and electron, which i personaly agree with but there is another answer to this question in my personal opinion is that there is energy and since E=mc^2 so mass is some what equal to energy.
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