1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min 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!

Why do atoms in a solid act like hard balls?

Tags:
  1. Dec 15, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Why can we assume that atoms in a solid material act like hard balls?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    because they are tightly packed together when in a solid state
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 15, 2015 #2
    It is not really true, many solids have structures that are not like those of close-packed spheres.

    It is approximately true because of the Pauli exclusion principle. But I do not know if that answer fits with what you learned in your course.
     
  4. Dec 15, 2015 #3

    davenn

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I will counter that with
    Why do YOU think the atoms in a liquid or gas act any differently ?

    Do you think there is any difference between individual atoms of H and O in liquid water
    compared with those in solid water ... eg. ice ?


    Dave
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted