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View Full Version : What happens when you start dividing it?

2005-Aug-30, 05:20 AM
lets call 1 atom molecule A1.

Assume L stands for Left and R stands for right.

and when you divide A1 by 2 lets call the result A2L+A2R.

We will take A2L and divide it by 2 and the result for A2L will be A3L + A3R

Lets take A3L and divide it by 2 and the result for A3L will be A4L + A4R

Lets take A4L and divide it by 2 and the result for A4L will be A5L + A5R

Lets throw away A5R, so lets take A5L and divide it by 2 and the result will be A6L + A6R

Now, throw away A6R and take A6L and divide it by 2 and the result will be A7L + A7R
.
.
.

until X times.

The question is how far can you go dividing part of an atom molecule by 2?

hhEb09'1
2005-Aug-30, 05:42 AM
The question is how far can you go dividing part of an atom molecule by 2?is an "atom molecule" the same thing as a molecule that is a single atom?

Meteora
2005-Aug-30, 05:46 AM
These questions don't make sense.

Problem 1:
(definition of) Molecule (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=molecule)
(definition of) Atom (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=atom+)
Which one do you mean? Or do you mean what hhEb09'1 asked?

Problem 2:
There are many different kinds of atoms and molecules.

Problem 3:
Atoms (and most molecules, for that matter) don't split in half.

- - - - - -

That's just getting started. I'm sure people who know more about nuclear physics (and chemistry, for that matter) can expand on this.

Jens
2005-Aug-30, 08:46 AM
The question is how far can you go dividing part of an atom molecule by 2?

It's a really strange question, and I wonder how you even come up with these things.

But mathematically speaking, you can divide something by 2 as many times as you want. Infinity.

As to whether it makes any physical sense, i.e. do you mean actually splitting it? That's a totally different question.

I suspect the question you want to ask is, can matter be broken down into ever smaller pieces, ad infinitum? If so, I think the answer is that a lot of people say you can't, but I don't think this is known for sure.

Argos
2005-Aug-30, 01:22 PM
An atom can be "divided" only one time. You divide a big atom and it becomes another, "smaller", atom (or several ones). See "nuclear fission".

gopher65
2005-Aug-30, 01:33 PM
I think he is asking whether there is a single fundimental partical(or whatever you'd call it). Atoms basically divide down into protons, electrons, and neutrons. Electrons are fundimental particals. Protons and Neutrons divide down into (up and down) Quarks. As far as I know quarks are fundimental particals, but possibly they furture break down into strings. In that case a string would be a fundimental 'partical'.

Eta C
2005-Aug-30, 02:50 PM
The funny thing is that the word "atom" itself is mis-applied these days. The Greek roots of the word mean "uncuttable" (a - tomos) and Heraclitus thought of them as the indivisible building blocks of matter. Username's question is similar to (but not as well stated) as Heraclitus' original thoughts. Take a bar of material &amp; cut it in half. Take a half and divide it in two and repeat. He felt that eventually you'd get down to something that couldn't be divided. The atom.

In modern parlance, of course, atoms are split. The current fundamental particles of the standard model are the six quarks, the six leptons (electron, mu, tau and associated neutrinos), and the guage bosons that carry forces (photon, W+/-, Z0, gluons, and gravitons in qunatum gravity theories). So far these particles show no evidence of internal structure and can, for now, be considered atomos. String theory speculates on possible internal structures, but until someone succeeds in splitting an electron, it will remain speculation IMO.

edit to add. Although many of these particles are unstable and decay, this is not necessarily evidence of internal structure. If string theories predict decay models that are forbidden by the current SM, then they might be onto something.

fossilnut2
2005-Aug-30, 03:08 PM
The word 'divide' also implies a physical separation. The nature of subatomic particles is somewhat elusive. The existence can be composed of a relationship of mater &amp; energy wrapped up in a further enigma of time and motion, etc. The concept of dividing at the subatomic level is really a 'metaphor' that we humans impose.

Argos
2005-Aug-30, 03:34 PM
The funny thing is that the word "atom" itself is mis-applied these days. The Greek roots of the word mean "uncuttable" (a - tomos) and Heraclitus thought of them as the indivisible building blocks of matter. Username's question is similar to (but not as well stated) as Heraclitus' original thoughts. Take a bar of material &amp; cut it in half. Take a half and divide it in two and repeat. He felt that eventually you'd get down to something that couldn't be divided. The atom.

Those Greeks confuse us. :)

Heraclitus said that things which are put together are both whole and not whole, brought together and taken apart, in harmony and out of harmony; one thing arises from all things, and all things arise from one thing. He was referring to the Logos, the underlying reason governing the Universal Change. However, Democritus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democritus) was the one to address the physical nature of matter.

CJSF
2005-Aug-30, 03:37 PM
I still want to know what afbS is in username24's signature.

Seriously, he/she doesn't have a very good track record for engaging the threads he/she starts. Are you even reading this username24?

I'm very 'fuzzy' when it comes to string theory, but if you could "split" a string, wouldn't you just be pumping enough energy into the string to create a new string? So you wouldn't be splitting anything, rather you'd be "making" a particle out of energy. ???

CJSF

Eta C
2005-Aug-30, 05:07 PM
Heraclitus said that things which are put together are both whole and not whole, brought together and taken apart, in harmony and out of harmony; one thing arises from all things, and all things arise from one thing. He was referring to the Logos, the underlying reason governing the Universal Change. However, Democritus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democritus) was the one to address the physical nature of matter.

Yea, my bad. :oops: Easy to get some of these pre-Socratics confused with each other. The modern physics stuff is correct, though. 8)

farmerjumperdon
2005-Aug-30, 05:17 PM
I still want to know what afbS is in username24's signature.

Seriously, he/she doesn't have a very good track record for engaging the threads he/she starts. Are you even reading this username24?

I'm very 'fuzzy' when it comes to string theory, but if you could "split" a string, wouldn't you just be pumping enough energy into the string to create a new string? So you wouldn't be splitting anything, rather you'd be "making" a particle out of energy. ???

CJSF

I thought when strings break, or divide, you just end up with 2 or more strings.

Inferno
2005-Sep-05, 05:17 AM
I think he is asking whether there is a single fundimental partical(or whatever you'd call it). Atoms basically divide down into protons, electrons, and neutrons. Electrons are fundimental particals. Protons and Neutrons divide down into (up and down) Quarks. As far as I know quarks are fundimental particals, but possibly they furture break down into strings. In that case a string would be a fundimental 'partical'.

Quarks are indeed fundamental particals. They are not so much as made up of strings as they are strings. To put it another way, a particular string vibrating in a particular way produces a quark. The same as another string vibrating another way produces an electron.

Strings cannot be broken down further because by definition they are one dimensional. ie they have no inside.