Learn more physics!
Why can't we squeeze our table, if it contains almost empty spaces?
- Bhaskar (age 16)
The common story about ordinary matter being mostly "empty space' is false. The sizes of atoms and molecules are set by the sizes of the regions in which the wave-function states of their electrons are intense. Those waves fill up the material, Squeezing those waves into smaller regions is hard because that increases their kinetic energies.
The empty-space stories are based on the idea that the electrons are really little dots somewhere, not spread-out waves. That idea is untrue.
(published on 03/09/12)
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