Monday, September 20, 2004
 
On the nothingness of everything

Did you know that the atom is made up primarily, by volume, of absolutely nothing at all? There is the dense nucleus of protons and neutrons, right in the middle; and then there are vast clouds of tiny little electrons, which have almost no weight at all, just buzzing around in frantic pointless circles. And the rest of the atom consists of absolutely nothing. Empty space. Void.

After Zeise said this in chemistry today I spent about five minutes wondering if I could put my fingers through the desk, if atoms were really that insubstantial.

Then it occurred to me that a single atom does not float around on its own. The desk is more than a pile of atoms, of the various sorts that make up fake wood, poured through a mold into the shape of a desk. It is, in fact, a collection of bonded atoms, these tiny little things stuck to each other and then coated with plastic or wood veneer or something, which itself is composed of more atoms bonded together. And thence comes my desk. So in reality it is not the atoms themselves that are strong, but the bonds.

Mmm, covalent.


- posted by Eva @ 10:25 PM | | 0 rocks in pond



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